Thousands of jobs depend on it.
Cork Airport has called for the Irish Government to quickly approve the adoption of quick turnaround, low cost, scalable, pre-departure testing for red zone countries.
Speaking today at a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport & Communications on issues affecting the aviation sector in Ireland, daa CEO Dalton Philips outlined the extraordinary challenges which daa and the aviation sector now face as a result of the pandemic.
Last year Cork Airport served 2.7million passengers while this year it expects it will serve less than 650,000.
Mr Phillips said he was thinking of people like Aaron Mansworth of Trigon Hotels in Cork who has seen occupancy plummet and one hotel close:
“I am thinking of the 145,000 people across the country who depend on Cork and Dublin airports for their livelihoods and the 750 people that are leaving our company because we don’t have work for them due to the loss of air traffic,” he said.
Cork Airport Managing Director, Niall MacCarthy, who also attended the Oireachtas Committee meeting, estimates it will take three to four years to return to those levels of passenger traffic.
“Cork Airport was Ireland’s fastest-growing airport in 2019 and was on course to be so again in 2020. Instead, over half of its airlines have withdrawn, traffic is down 90% and it is facing into losses of €20 million this year.” Mr Philips said.
In stark contrast to other regional airports, Cork has received no direct State funding. Mr Philips repeated calls for Cork Airport to be admitted to the existing regional airports CapEx and OpEx funding schemes until traffic levels have recovered to pre-Covid levels.