It is another confirmation of an ongoing recovery, and a vindication of ambitious investment in the facility some years ago, that Cork Airport expects 2.25m passengers to pass through its doors this year.
The airport has handled 65,000 more passengers than in the same period in 2015. That 2.25m figure would represent an 8% increase over last year and is another confirmation of how very pivotal the airport is to the region’s economy — and yet it could be so much more.
Efforts to open a route from Cork to Boston are well documented and ongoing. Norwegian Air International and its Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air Shuttle, await a ruling from American authorities on whether or not it will get a permit for the route. This saga of protectionism has become a barrier to progress in Cork and seems to fly in the face of the values America is more than happy to impose on other economies if they advance their own interests. There have been suggestions that the Norwegian company is using the route to cut wages and conditions for workers on Atlantic routes. These suggestions have been rejected by the company and those who make them have not been able to substantiate them. The counter suggestion is that American air workers on Atlantic routes enjoy a protected status and hope to sustain that advantage. It is time, despite Hilary Clinton’s lobbying, that American authorities ruled in favour of the proposal and allowed the airport and the region better realise its potential.
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