New route shows potential for growth and expansion at Cork Airport – Buttimer

Tuesday, 3rd March 2015

  • New destination from Cork Airport shows that clear potential for growth and expansion exists.
  • CSA Czech Airlines to begin twice weekly direct flights from Cork to Ibiza.

The decision by Czech Airlines to add twice weekly direct flights to a new destination is welcome news for Cork Airport.  It shows that clear potential for growth and expansion exists at Cork Airport.  In other positive developments at the airport further announcements are expected this year, the team at Cork Airport, led by Niall MacCarthy, deserve to be congratulated for their efforts in securing this new route.

While there has been a decline in passenger numbers at Cork Airport it remains our country’s second busiest airport.  Passengers flying from Cork Airport have a choice of 42 scheduled destinations, which will increase with the new announcement, this compares to only 29 destinations available from Shannon.  For people travelling to and from the South of the country Cork offers more routes and more options when it comes to fights.  This reality needs to be broadcast; the benefits of using Cork Airport need to marketed and promoted here at home and overseas.

We are all concerned about the future of the airport and we must work to put in place structures and supports that will enable the airport to be properly marketed and promoted.  We need a far-reaching plan to reverse the recent trend of falling passenger numbers, and all funding options should be considered.  An integrated and properly resourced tourism structure that focusses on growing inbound tourism is needed; this would be a great benefit to the efforts to market the airport.  This must involve clear accountability and targets, working with stakeholders such as the airport and hotels.  I have written to the Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, requesting a meeting to discuss these issues that are critical to the future of Cork Airport.

Ends

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Tourism, Transport

IAG presents no vision to grow business at Cork Airport – Buttimer

Thursday, 12 February 2015

  • Buttimer questions IAG Chief Executive, Willie Walsh, at a hearing of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications

 

 

Cork Airport has the potential to facilitate economic growth in our city and county but it needs an increase in flights and an increase in passenger numbers.  Although Mr Walsh spoke well today he did not set out a vision of how IAG would grow business at Cork Airport.  He failed to show how IAG taking over Aer Lingus would reverse the trend of falling passenger numbers at Cork.

Cork Airport is located in a county with a population of over 500,000 and it is at the centre of the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland.  It is also located on the doorstep on an increasing number of the world’s leading technology companies.  Despite these competitive advantages Mr Walsh expressed surprise at the decline in passenger numbers at Cork Airport and he contrasted this with the growth in numbers flying between Cork and London Heathrow.  This underscores the importance for Cork of connectivity with Heathrow.

When I questioned Mr Walsh on his plans for Cork Airport it was reassuring that he stated he wants to grow business at Cork.  He said he wants to make Aer Lingus more efficient and that we would look very carefully at opportunities.  But unfortunately Mr Walsh failed to give any specifics that would benefit Cork other than restate his commitment to maintain the Heathrow slots for five years.

When Mr Walsh was head of Aer Lingus he grew passenger numbers from Cork, he clearly knows the potential of Cork Airport.  Today was an opportunity to ask him how he sees the future of Cork Airport and what his company IAG can do to help increase airline traffic at Cork Airport.  Unfortunately we were left with no answers.”

ENDS

Posted under Cork, National Work, Transport

Parliamentary Question: Payment of Unpaid Fines Through Motor Tax

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

To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on facilitating a system of payment of unpaid fines where the outstanding money is added to the amount due on motor tax for a vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

For WRITTEN ANSWER on Tuesday, 10 February 2015.

REPLY

A Criminal Justice Working Group, jointly chaired by my Department and the Department of Justice and comprising representatives of all relevant State bodies, was established in March 2014 to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations of a report by the Garda Inspectorate into the Fixed Charge Processing System. As part of its deliberations, the Working Group is examining the solutions for addressing the collection of all outstanding road traffic related fines and charges, including the possibility of associating such amounts with the motor tax on a vehicle.

I will await the outcome of the discussions at the Working Group before deciding what approach might be taken in this matter.

Posted under Parliamentary Questions, Transport