Sean Kelly, MEP – today welcomed the decison by Aer Lingus to extend, its recently launched Cork – Brussels service, to operate four weekly flights during the winter schedule. However, he regretted the national airlines decison to close its Cork – London Gatwick service.
“The popularity of Aer Lingus’s new Brussels route demonstrates the obvious demand for more frequent air connectivity to mainland Europe for Cork and the Munster region. Cork Airport has critcial economic, tourism and demographic benefits for potential airlines, looking to build market share through route expansion into Cork.
“The modern Cork airport termial, services a population of just under half million people in County Cork, and also provides crucial economic links to Europe, for a further half a million commuters in the Kerry, Tipperary, Waterford and greater Limerick regions.
“Airlines need to realise the tourism and economic potential of the South West region, particularly with our largest trading partners in Europe, such as, Germany, France and Italy and also new markets opportunites in Asia and the US. Perhaps there is an opportunity to work with Ethiad to develop tourism links with the middle East, while US airlines should be encouraged to service the US multinational base in Cork and Munster, such as Apple, Stryker and EMC.” The lack of a Cork/Dublin service, also means that airlines are losing passenger revenues, as Cork commuters and multi-national executives vote with their feet and route through the UK, for onward connections with the US, and the American East Coast, in particular.