It’s time to make that call to US, Taoiseach

TENS of thousands of words have been published by this newspaper about the difficulties facing Cork Airport. 

Thankfully, those words have had a longed-for air of optimism in recent months, especially since Norwegian Air International (NAI) proposed a transatlantic service from the facility.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s NAI announcement, explaining that they have deferred the May launch date, because of bureaucratic stonewalling on the far side of the Atlantic, may dent that positivity.

It will certainly limit tourism and other developing sectors in the region. The link would have been transformative.

That Boston link is being delayed by unprecedented holding tactics that defy open-air agreements.

The proposal has endured a two-year delay, so US Department of Transport officials could rule on the airline’s application. The department has been lobbied by US unions and airlines opposed to the low-cost plan. NAI’s application is the longest unresolved application of its kind.

The airline has reiterated its commitment, but, as yesterday’s announcement confirmed, its patience cannot be infinite. Speaking in Cork last week, Taoiseach Enda Kenny promised support.

“If it’s appropriate that I make a phone call at a particular time, I won’t be found wanting,” he said. That moment has arrived, Taoiseach, and Paddy would like to know what’s keeping you. Make that call. Keep the recovery going, as you’d say yourself.

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