Ryanair announced today that they are to close 2 routes to Cork Airport from the United Kingdom.
This is a blow to toursim in the southwest of Ireland, a region that has also seen UK visitor numbers affected by the closure of the Swansea-Cork ferry 2 years ago.
The routes to close are from East-Midlands and Glasgow-Prestwick, which will close on October 26th and 28th respectively.
Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said they had made the decision due to an increase in the charges being imposed by the airport on those routes from 1 November however Cork Airport management have rejected this claim stating that they have not raised charges.
Mr O’Leary claimed that he felt a deal was possible in recent negotiations but that the Airport’s parent company the Dublin Airport Authority(DAA) were blocking the move. He said that the situation could be rescued if the DAA “changed its mind” but as of now the two routes will finish in October.
This statement is sure to bring further pressure on government to complete the process of making Cork an independent airport from Dublin. This was promised with the breakup of Aer-Rianta in 2004, however as yet the process has been no more than a name change from Aer Rinata to the DAA.