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Is the tide finally turning for Cork Airport after a rocky few years

Tuesday, 15th September, 2015 11:32pm
Is the tide finally turning for Cork Airport after a rocky few years

Looking down the hallway to the check-in area at Cork Airport on a recent Friday afternoon

WITH talk of a new terminal for Dublin Airport, and Shannon getting its own reality TV show, Cork must be feeling a bit like the poor relation these days.

But despite a few years of hard news stories – with many airlines cutting routes, leading to a fall in passenger numbers – current management is at pains to appear sunny side up.

After a hammering in the press throughout 2014, this year kicked off with a list of ‘good news’ stories, as the marketing gurus swung into action, luckily backed up by a string of positive announcements.

In March, the airport announced a new Ibiza route for the summer, and three days later the new Cork to Cardiff route, from FlyBe, was unveiled.

But in June, it almost seemed like the bad old days were back, when Cork Airport expressed its disappointment at the Czech Airlines’ decision to pull two routes before they had even started. CSA Czech Airlines said its planned Cork-Prague, along with the Cork-Ibiza route announced a month earlier, would now not proceed, as the routes were not now ‘economically viable’.

It left observers shaking their heads, wondering how a route that was deemed ‘viable’ a month earlier, was now ‘unviable’ just a few weeks later.

But the good news press releases returned in July, with the announcement of a very welcome Cork to London City route, and the arrival of CityJet for the first time, to Cork Airport. ‘The tide is turning’ was the feeling on the ground, following the announcement.

The new CityJet service is due to operate three times per day from Monday to Friday, with one return flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays. The new service will commence next month and the company has indicated this week that it may be open ot further opportunities out of Cork. Also in July, Aer Lingus pledged to operate a new Düsseldorf service for summer 2016. The new service, which will commence in May of next year, will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.

In August, Aer Lingus came to the rescue again. This time it said it would double its services to Tenerife for the upcoming winter season, and there was more good news for airport marketing staff – as the airport was shortlisted for a global marketing award at the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. The awards mark the best and most effective marketing in route development within the aviation industry.

Given the huge amount of effort put into marketing new routes for 2015, to make up for the previous few years, it’s no wonder the staff were being rewarded for their Trojan work.

To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years at the Kinsale Road aerodrome is something of an understatement.

The airport, opened in October 1961, has been regularly criticised for its location – at 500ft above sea level – which leaves it prone to fog on many occasions throughout the year.

But during the Celtic Tiger boom, demand for routes grew, and a second terminal was built. This has left the airport with a €100m+ debt legacy – although its parent, the Dublin Airport Authority, currently carries this burden on its own balance sheet.

This means the airport is not overly burdened by this imbalance in its finances, but there is still the matter of the abandoned old terminal and also the former control tower.

Marketing manager Kevin Cullinane confirmed to The Southern Star recently that there were now plans to level the former terminal and use the space for aircraft parking. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ he said, putting an end to any fantasies of the building providing any kind of revenue-generating option to help write down the debt.

It looks like the former control tower will go the same way.

But whatever the plans for the now decommissioned buildings, the future must concentrate on getting more activity into the new ones. Shannon is fast nipping at the heels of what is currently Ireland’s ‘second busiest airport’ – with Cork the only airport of the holy trinity of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, to record a fall in passenger numbers last year. And it looks like the figures for 2015 are set to fall once again, with management predicting a figure of 2m for this year, compared with 2.1m passengers using the airport in 2014.

However, there are hopes that the new routes announced mid-way through this year, will result in an upturn next year – and hopefully will mean the first growth in passengers for some years.

– SIOBHÁN CRONIN

WITH talk of a new terminal for Dublin Airport, and Shannon getting its own reality TV show, Cork must be feeling a bit like the poor relation these days.

But despite a few years of hard news stories – with many airlines cutting routes, leading to a fall in passenger numbers – current management is at pains to appear sunny side up.

After a hammering in the press throughout 2014, this year kicked off with a list of ‘good news’ stories, as the marketing gurus swung into action, luckily backed up by a string of positive announcements.

In March, the airport announced a new Ibiza route for the summer, and three days later the new Cork to Cardiff route, from FlyBe, was unveiled.

But in June, it almost seemed like the bad old days were back, when Cork Airport expressed its disappointment at the Czech Airlines’ decision to pull two routes before they had even started. CSA Czech Airlines said its planned Cork-Prague, along with the Cork-Ibiza route announced a month earlier, would now not proceed, as the routes were not now ‘economically viable’.

It left observers shaking their heads, wondering how a route that was deemed ‘viable’ a month earlier, was now ‘unviable’ just a few weeks later.

But the good news press releases returned in July, with the announcement of a very welcome Cork to London City route, and the arrival of CityJet for the first time, to Cork Airport. ‘The tide is turning’ was the feeling on the ground, following the announcement.

The new CityJet service is due to operate three times per day from Monday to Friday, with one return flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays. The new service will commence next month and the company has indicated this week that it may be open ot further opportunities out of Cork. Also in July, Aer Lingus pledged to operate a new Düsseldorf service for summer 2016. The new service, which will commence in May of next year, will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.

In August, Aer Lingus came to the rescue again. This time it said it would double its services to Tenerife for the upcoming winter season, and there was more good news for airport marketing staff – as the airport was shortlisted for a global marketing award at the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. The awards mark the best and most effective marketing in route development within the aviation industry.

Given the huge amount of effort put into marketing new routes for 2015, to make up for the previous few years, it’s no wonder the staff were being rewarded for their Trojan work.

To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years at the Kinsale Road aerodrome is something of an understatement.

The airport, opened in October 1961, has been regularly criticised for its location – at 500ft above sea level – which leaves it prone to fog on many occasions throughout the year.

But during the Celtic Tiger boom, demand for routes grew, and a second terminal was built. This has left the airport with a €100m+ debt legacy – although its parent, the Dublin Airport Authority, currently carries this burden on its own balance sheet.

This means the airport is not overly burdened by this imbalance in its finances, but there is still the matter of the abandoned old terminal and also the former control tower.

Marketing manager Kevin Cullinane confirmed to The Southern Star recently that there were now plans to level the former terminal and use the space for aircraft parking. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ he said, putting an end to any fantasies of the building providing any kind of revenue-generating option to help write down the debt.

It looks like the former control tower will go the same way.

But whatever the plans for the now decommissioned buildings, the future must concentrate on getting more activity into the new ones. Shannon is fast nipping at the heels of what is currently Ireland’s ‘second busiest airport’ – with Cork the only airport of the holy trinity of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, to record a fall in passenger numbers last year. And it looks like the figures for 2015 are set to fall once again, with management predicting a figure of 2m for this year, compared with 2.1m passengers using the airport in 2014.

However, there are hopes that the new routes announced mid-way through this year, will result in an upturn next year – and hopefully will mean the first growth in passengers for some years.

– SIOBHÁN CRONIN

WITH talk of a new terminal for Dublin Airport, and Shannon getting its own reality TV show, Cork must be feeling a bit like the poor relation these days.

But despite a few years of hard news stories – with many airlines cutting routes, leading to a fall in passenger numbers – current management is at pains to appear sunny side up.

After a hammering in the press throughout 2014, this year kicked off with a list of ‘good news’ stories, as the marketing gurus swung into action, luckily backed up by a string of positive announcements.

In March, the airport announced a new Ibiza route for the summer, and three days later the new Cork to Cardiff route, from FlyBe, was unveiled.

But in June, it almost seemed like the bad old days were back, when Cork Airport expressed its disappointment at the Czech Airlines’ decision to pull two routes before they had even started. CSA Czech Airlines said its planned Cork-Prague, along with the Cork-Ibiza route announced a month earlier, would now not proceed, as the routes were not now ‘economically viable’.

It left observers shaking their heads, wondering how a route that was deemed ‘viable’ a month earlier, was now ‘unviable’ just a few weeks later.

But the good news press releases returned in July, with the announcement of a very welcome Cork to London City route, and the arrival of CityJet for the first time, to Cork Airport. ‘The tide is turning’ was the feeling on the ground, following the announcement.

The new CityJet service is due to operate three times per day from Monday to Friday, with one return flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays. The new service will commence next month and the company has indicated this week that it may be open ot further opportunities out of Cork. Also in July, Aer Lingus pledged to operate a new Düsseldorf service for summer 2016. The new service, which will commence in May of next year, will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.

In August, Aer Lingus came to the rescue again. This time it said it would double its services to Tenerife for the upcoming winter season, and there was more good news for airport marketing staff – as the airport was shortlisted for a global marketing award at the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. The awards mark the best and most effective marketing in route development within the aviation industry.

Given the huge amount of effort put into marketing new routes for 2015, to make up for the previous few years, it’s no wonder the staff were being rewarded for their Trojan work.

To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years at the Kinsale Road aerodrome is something of an understatement.

The airport, opened in October 1961, has been regularly criticised for its location – at 500ft above sea level – which leaves it prone to fog on many occasions throughout the year.

But during the Celtic Tiger boom, demand for routes grew, and a second terminal was built. This has left the airport with a €100m+ debt legacy – although its parent, the Dublin Airport Authority, currently carries this burden on its own balance sheet.

This means the airport is not overly burdened by this imbalance in its finances, but there is still the matter of the abandoned old terminal and also the former control tower.

Marketing manager Kevin Cullinane confirmed to The Southern Star recently that there were now plans to level the former terminal and use the space for aircraft parking. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ he said, putting an end to any fantasies of the building providing any kind of revenue-generating option to help write down the debt.

It looks like the former control tower will go the same way.

But whatever the plans for the now decommissioned buildings, the future must concentrate on getting more activity into the new ones. Shannon is fast nipping at the heels of what is currently Ireland’s ‘second busiest airport’ – with Cork the only airport of the holy trinity of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, to record a fall in passenger numbers last year. And it looks like the figures for 2015 are set to fall once again, with management predicting a figure of 2m for this year, compared with 2.1m passengers using the airport in 2014.

However, there are hopes that the new routes announced mid-way through this year, will result in an upturn next year – and hopefully will mean the first growth in passengers for some years.

– SIOBHÁN CRONIN

WITH talk of a new terminal for Dublin Airport, and Shannon getting its own reality TV show, Cork must be feeling a bit like the poor relation these days.

But despite a few years of hard news stories – with many airlines cutting routes, leading to a fall in passenger numbers – current management is at pains to appear sunny side up.

After a hammering in the press throughout 2014, this year kicked off with a list of ‘good news’ stories, as the marketing gurus swung into action, luckily backed up by a string of positive announcements.

In March, the airport announced a new Ibiza route for the summer, and three days later the new Cork to Cardiff route, from FlyBe, was unveiled.

But in June, it almost seemed like the bad old days were back, when Cork Airport expressed its disappointment at the Czech Airlines’ decision to pull two routes before they had even started. CSA Czech Airlines said its planned Cork-Prague, along with the Cork-Ibiza route announced a month earlier, would now not proceed, as the routes were not now ‘economically viable’.

It left observers shaking their heads, wondering how a route that was deemed ‘viable’ a month earlier, was now ‘unviable’ just a few weeks later.

But the good news press releases returned in July, with the announcement of a very welcome Cork to London City route, and the arrival of CityJet for the first time, to Cork Airport. ‘The tide is turning’ was the feeling on the ground, following the announcement.

The new CityJet service is due to operate three times per day from Monday to Friday, with one return flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays. The new service will commence next month and the company has indicated this week that it may be open ot further opportunities out of Cork. Also in July, Aer Lingus pledged to operate a new Düsseldorf service for summer 2016. The new service, which will commence in May of next year, will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.

In August, Aer Lingus came to the rescue again. This time it said it would double its services to Tenerife for the upcoming winter season, and there was more good news for airport marketing staff – as the airport was shortlisted for a global marketing award at the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. The awards mark the best and most effective marketing in route development within the aviation industry.

Given the huge amount of effort put into marketing new routes for 2015, to make up for the previous few years, it’s no wonder the staff were being rewarded for their Trojan work.

To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years at the Kinsale Road aerodrome is something of an understatement.

The airport, opened in October 1961, has been regularly criticised for its location – at 500ft above sea level – which leaves it prone to fog on many occasions throughout the year.

But during the Celtic Tiger boom, demand for routes grew, and a second terminal was built. This has left the airport with a €100m+ debt legacy – although its parent, the Dublin Airport Authority, currently carries this burden on its own balance sheet.

This means the airport is not overly burdened by this imbalance in its finances, but there is still the matter of the abandoned old terminal and also the former control tower.

Marketing manager Kevin Cullinane confirmed to The Southern Star recently that there were now plans to level the former terminal and use the space for aircraft parking. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ he said, putting an end to any fantasies of the building providing any kind of revenue-generating option to help write down the debt.

It looks like the former control tower will go the same way.

But whatever the plans for the now decommissioned buildings, the future must concentrate on getting more activity into the new ones. Shannon is fast nipping at the heels of what is currently Ireland’s ‘second busiest airport’ – with Cork the only airport of the holy trinity of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, to record a fall in passenger numbers last year. And it looks like the figures for 2015 are set to fall once again, with management predicting a figure of 2m for this year, compared with 2.1m passengers using the airport in 2014.

However, there are hopes that the new routes announced mid-way through this year, will result in an upturn next year – and hopefully will mean the first growth in passengers for some years.

– SIOBHÁN CRONIN

WITH talk of a new terminal for Dublin Airport, and Shannon getting its own reality TV show, Cork must be feeling a bit like the poor relation these days.

But despite a few years of hard news stories – with many airlines cutting routes, leading to a fall in passenger numbers – current management is at pains to appear sunny side up.

After a hammering in the press throughout 2014, this year kicked off with a list of ‘good news’ stories, as the marketing gurus swung into action, luckily backed up by a string of positive announcements.

In March, the airport announced a new Ibiza route for the summer, and three days later the new Cork to Cardiff route, from FlyBe, was unveiled.

But in June, it almost seemed like the bad old days were back, when Cork Airport expressed its disappointment at the Czech Airlines’ decision to pull two routes before they had even started. CSA Czech Airlines said its planned Cork-Prague, along with the Cork-Ibiza route announced a month earlier, would now not proceed, as the routes were not now ‘economically viable’.

It left observers shaking their heads, wondering how a route that was deemed ‘viable’ a month earlier, was now ‘unviable’ just a few weeks later.

But the good news press releases returned in July, with the announcement of a very welcome Cork to London City route, and the arrival of CityJet for the first time, to Cork Airport. ‘The tide is turning’ was the feeling on the ground, following the announcement.

The new CityJet service is due to operate three times per day from Monday to Friday, with one return flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays. The new service will commence next month and the company has indicated this week that it may be open ot further opportunities out of Cork. Also in July, Aer Lingus pledged to operate a new Düsseldorf service for summer 2016. The new service, which will commence in May of next year, will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.

In August, Aer Lingus came to the rescue again. This time it said it would double its services to Tenerife for the upcoming winter season, and there was more good news for airport marketing staff – as the airport was shortlisted for a global marketing award at the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. The awards mark the best and most effective marketing in route development within the aviation industry.

Given the huge amount of effort put into marketing new routes for 2015, to make up for the previous few years, it’s no wonder the staff were being rewarded for their Trojan work.

To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years at the Kinsale Road aerodrome is something of an understatement.

The airport, opened in October 1961, has been regularly criticised for its location – at 500ft above sea level – which leaves it prone to fog on many occasions throughout the year.

But during the Celtic Tiger boom, demand for routes grew, and a second terminal was built. This has left the airport with a €100m+ debt legacy – although its parent, the Dublin Airport Authority, currently carries this burden on its own balance sheet.

This means the airport is not overly burdened by this imbalance in its finances, but there is still the matter of the abandoned old terminal and also the former control tower.

Marketing manager Kevin Cullinane confirmed to The Southern Star recently that there were now plans to level the former terminal and use the space for aircraft parking. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ he said, putting an end to any fantasies of the building providing any kind of revenue-generating option to help write down the debt.

It looks like the former control tower will go the same way.

But whatever the plans for the now decommissioned buildings, the future must concentrate on getting more activity into the new ones. Shannon is fast nipping at the heels of what is currently Ireland’s ‘second busiest airport’ – with Cork the only airport of the holy trinity of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, to record a fall in passenger numbers last year. And it looks like the figures for 2015 are set to fall once again, with management predicting a figure of 2m for this year, compared with 2.1m passengers using the airport in 2014.

However, there are hopes that the new routes announced mid-way through this year, will result in an upturn next year – and hopefully will mean the first growth in passengers for some years.

– SIOBHÁN CRONIN

WITH talk of a new terminal for Dublin Airport, and Shannon getting its own reality TV show, Cork must be feeling a bit like the poor relation these days.

But despite a few years of hard news stories – with many airlines cutting routes, leading to a fall in passenger numbers – current management is at pains to appear sunny side up.

After a hammering in the press throughout 2014, this year kicked off with a list of ‘good news’ stories, as the marketing gurus swung into action, luckily backed up by a string of positive announcements.

In March, the airport announced a new Ibiza route for the summer, and three days later the new Cork to Cardiff route, from FlyBe, was unveiled.

But in June, it almost seemed like the bad old days were back, when Cork Airport expressed its disappointment at the Czech Airlines’ decision to pull two routes before they had even started. CSA Czech Airlines said its planned Cork-Prague, along with the Cork-Ibiza route announced a month earlier, would now not proceed, as the routes were not now ‘economically viable’.

It left observers shaking their heads, wondering how a route that was deemed ‘viable’ a month earlier, was now ‘unviable’ just a few weeks later.

But the good news press releases returned in July, with the announcement of a very welcome Cork to London City route, and the arrival of CityJet for the first time, to Cork Airport. ‘The tide is turning’ was the feeling on the ground, following the announcement.

The new CityJet service is due to operate three times per day from Monday to Friday, with one return flight on Saturdays, and two flights on Sundays. The new service will commence next month and the company has indicated this week that it may be open ot further opportunities out of Cork. Also in July, Aer Lingus pledged to operate a new Düsseldorf service for summer 2016. The new service, which will commence in May of next year, will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Sunday.

In August, Aer Lingus came to the rescue again. This time it said it would double its services to Tenerife for the upcoming winter season, and there was more good news for airport marketing staff – as the airport was shortlisted for a global marketing award at the prestigious World Routes Marketing Awards. The awards mark the best and most effective marketing in route development within the aviation industry.

Given the huge amount of effort put into marketing new routes for 2015, to make up for the previous few years, it’s no wonder the staff were being rewarded for their Trojan work.

To say it’s been a rollercoaster few years at the Kinsale Road aerodrome is something of an understatement.

The airport, opened in October 1961, has been regularly criticised for its location – at 500ft above sea level – which leaves it prone to fog on many occasions throughout the year.

But during the Celtic Tiger boom, demand for routes grew, and a second terminal was built. This has left the airport with a €100m+ debt legacy – although its parent, the Dublin Airport Authority, currently carries this burden on its own balance sheet.

This means the airport is not overly burdened by this imbalance in its finances, but there is still the matter of the abandoned old terminal and also the former control tower.

Marketing manager Kevin Cullinane confirmed to The Southern Star recently that there were now plans to level the former terminal and use the space for aircraft parking. ‘It is no longer fit for purpose,’ he said, putting an end to any fantasies of the building providing any kind of revenue-generating option to help write down the debt.

It looks like the former control tower will go the same way.

But whatever the plans for the now decommissioned buildings, the future must concentrate on getting more activity into the new ones. Shannon is fast nipping at the heels of what is currently Ireland’s ‘second busiest airport’ – with Cork the only airport of the holy trinity of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, to record a fall in passenger numbers last year. And it looks like the figures for 2015 are set to fall once again, with management predicting a figure of 2m for this year, compared with 2.1m passengers using the airport in 2014.

However, there are hopes that the new routes announced mid-way through this year, will result in an upturn next year – and hopefully will mean the first growth in passengers for some years.

– SIOBHÁN CRONIN

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