CityJet has just announced that it is to fly 18 times weekly between Cork Airport and London City Airport, commencing in October.
That is big business, both for the airport and the airline.
The airline said it saw significant potential in Cork and the Munster region for flights directly into the heart of London.
The airline’s executive chairman, Pat Byrne, recognises that Cork hosts some of the major multinationals in Ireland and is a location of choice for pharmaceutical, healthcare, ICT, and biotechnology companies.
It is a pity that other organisations — Fáilte Ireland in particular— do not see the region’s potential in a similar fashion.
Deals like that don’t happen by accident. It takes months, at least, of negotiations, persuasion, and roundtable talks to secure such a major contract and Cork Airport management deserve recognition for their hard work.
Cork Airport receives no grant aid or subvention from central government. It also operates in a hugely competitive local aviation environment, with three other airports within 130km, or a two-hour drive.
The airport generates more than 10,000 jobs directly and indirectly and is worth €727m to the local economy.
That is worth preserving, and enhancing.