‘PLEASE continue to support Cork Airport,’ was the message from its head of communications, Kevin Cullinane, to those attending the Bantry Development & Tourism Association’s special breakfast briefing during which he dispelled many of the myths and negativity that were doing the rounds this summer about the future of the country’s second-largest airport.
Mr Cullinane assured all present that ‘the future of Cork Airport is as promising as its past is proud’ before going on to detail all the positive announcements of recent months, which will give it increased and enhanced connectivity. In addition to CityJet’s new London service and other routes it is planning for next year, Norwegian Air will be opening a Cork-Boston route in 2016 and a New York service the following year, bringing scheduled trans-Atlantic flights to Cork for the first time, which Mr Cullinane described as ‘a huge game changer.’
He emphasised the importance of marketing the Cork area to attract visitors as tourists don’t come to visit an airport; they just use it to get to their destination.
Cork has a great product on its doorstep in the form of the Wild Atlantic Way to sell internationally and he described West Cork as ‘the jewel in the crown’ of Cork’s tourism offering.
This year, Cork Airport has 48 flight destinations on its schedules (Shannon has 32) and has won a number of customer service awards. It has a €500,000 marketing and promotional budget and Mr Cullinane thanked Cork County Council for its €100,000 contribution to this fund.
The Council was represented at the Bantry breakfast briefing by Cllr Joe Carroll, deputy county mayor, who said that ‘all negativity about Cork Airport has to stop immediately’ and all of us ‘must talk it up.’ He complimented chairman Eileen O’Shea and all the members of Bantry Development & Tourism Association for managing to keep the local tourist office open seven days a week during the summer, using volunteers entirely to run it.