Ryanair has announced this morning that it is closing its bases in Cork and Shannon Airports for the winter.
The airline had threatened the move earlier as a response to what it said were unreasonable restrictions on air travel by the Irish government.
Today's announcement is part of a wider reduction in its winter flight schedule across Europe.
It has blamed what it has called the 'mismanagement' of air travel by various EU governments.
Cork Airport management has already said such a move would be devastating for the airport which has seen its passenger numbers collapse since March.
In Tuesday's Budget the government allocated a €10m package for Cork and Shannon Airports to ease their financial burdens.
'We strongly welcome the Budget announcement of €10m in funding for Cork Airport and Shannon Airport as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on business at the airports,' a spokesperson said. 'Passenger traffic at Cork Airport is down 91% compared to last year and more than half of its airline customers have withdrawn their services. Cork Airport, which was the State’s fastest growing airport in 2019, is facing losses €20 million this year. Prior to this funding announcement, Cork was the only regional airport in the State that had not received direct Exchequer funding.'
There were calls this morning for this funding to now be increased as a result of today's announcement by Ryanair.