Flights to London City a boost for business and tourism in Cork – Buttimer

Wednesday, 1st July 2015

  • CityJet announces 18 weekly flights between Cork Airport and London City Airport

CorkAirport2New CityJet flights connecting Cork directly with London City Airport is a boost for both business and tourism in Cork. Each week there will be an extra 18 flights that provide increased connectivity with an important economic centre. It is another new route for Cork Airport that again increases flight options for Cork for those using the airport.

London is a critical hub for Cork airport and increased capacity on the route will benefit everyone who uses the route. Recently we have received guarantees on connections to Heathrow, now we have new direct links to another London airport, both of which are important developments for Cork Airport and the region.

Now that this new flight is secured we must ensure that the new route is marketed and that Cork is promoted as a destination. We need to increase the number of inbound passengers using Cork Airport. This places an onus on tourism partners in Cork to develop a unified marketing strategy to promote the county internationally. We have a great product and this new flight linking Cork Airport and London City Airport shows the potential that the region has. To realise this potential we need Failte Ireland and the two Councils to fast-track their plans for developing a new marketing strategy for Cork.”

ENDS

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Tourism, Transport

Parliamentary Question: State Airports

Question to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Mr. Paschal Donohoe, TD)

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he recognises that reducing passenger numbers at Cork Airport needs to be addressed by a change in aviation policy; the measures he plans to take in order to assist in facilitating an increase in passenger numbers at Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 17, June, 2015.

REPLY

The draft National Aviation Policy, which I intend to publish before the summer recess, sets out Government policy in relation to Cork Airport’s role as a key tourism and business gateway for its region, making particular reference to the development of key niche markets.

In line with the policy, our focus has been on exploiting the opportunity to grow inbound tourists to the Cork region, particularly in view of the fact that only 37% of Cork Airport’s passengers are inbound.

Following the successful ‘Grow Dublin Taskforce’, both local authorities, with Fáilte Ireland, are progressing a similar initiative to prepare a cohesive strategic plan for the development of Cork’s tourism potential. This strategy will focus on identifying and addressing Cork’s opportunities for growth and is due to be completed by November.

DAA, along with Cork Airport management, are also working to stabilise passenger numbers and return Cork Airport to growth.  Indeed, following on from the Government’s decision in relation to the IAG/Aer Lingus issue, I understand that there will be an announcement shortly with regard to a new service from the Airport.

However, local support in the region is a crucial component of any initiatives to reverse the current decline. It was disappointing that lack of support for the planned Cork-Prague and Cork-Ibiza routes was the reason cited by Czech Airlines for its decision not to commence operations on the routes.

The National Aviation Policy cannot address the issue of local support for the Airport. That is a matter for the people and businesses in the region. However, such support is critical to ensure the Airport’s future sustainability.

Posted under Cork, Parliamentary Questions, Tourism, Transport

Parliamentary Question: Aer Lingus Sale

Question to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Mr. Paschal Donohoe, TD)

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way the proposed sale of Aer Lingus to the International Airlines Group will benefit Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer

For WRITTEN ANSWER on 17, June, 2015.

REPLY

The Government considers that a sale of the State’s minority shareholding to IAG, on the basis of the terms offered, would be the best means of securing and enhancing Ireland’s connectivity with the rest of the world and maintaining a vibrant and competitive air transport industry in Ireland.  It would also best serve the interests of the travelling public, Aer Lingus and its employees, the Irish tourism industry and the Irish economy as a whole. IAG has stated its willingness to offer commitments in relation to Aer Lingus’s Heathrow slots and connectivity, which would also cover services between Cork and Heathrow.  I have given full details on these commitments to the House very recently during the debate on the general principles of the proposed disposal of the State’s shareholding.

Furthermore, in relation to Cork, IAG has indicated its plans are that the Cork-Paris and Cork-Amsterdam routes will be maintained and that growth opportunities with tourism and business interests in the Munster region will be pursued to exploit the potential that exists in all the short haul routes currently operated by Aer Lingus from Cork. Aer Lingus has indicated that a combination with IAG would also underpin a planned Cork-Germany service.

Posted under Cork, Parliamentary Questions, Tourism, Transport