A PASSENGER arriving at Cork Airport on Monday afternoon observed that in contrast with Liverpool John Lennon Airport, there were only two planes on the runway. Despite its new terminal, there was a distinct sense of a rundown airport desperately in need of some business so as to give it an uplift.
As outlined in an economic study today, Cork’s big problem is that it is being starved of tourists and badly needs a financial injection for a marketing campaign. Meanwhile, its main competitor, Shannon, is cosseted by government largesse and flush with cash. On gaining independence, Shannon was gifted an annual rental income of some €38m in payments from the State-owned industrial zone.
As a result, the airport is burgeoning and in the happy position of being able to set more competitive rates than Cork, thus winning extra routes, especially from Ryanair.
While the Government denies playing politics, suspicions persist. If so, it could yet backfire on the Fine Gael/Labour coalition in the ballot box.
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