Ryanair has said that it will cut all services to and from Cork, Shannon and Knock airports between November 14 and December 13 due to a collapse in bookings.
Cork Airport Reaction
Reacting to the news of the cessation of Ryanair services to and from Cork Airport between November 14 and December 13, Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy said, "The news that Ryanair will be cancelling all flights from Cork Airport for a four week period from mid-November to mid-December is a further body blow to the Irish aviation industry and to Cork and the south of Ireland in particular.
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MacCarthy added, "We still expect, at this stage, to have between 14 and 18 flights per week with KLM and Aer Lingus serving Amsterdam and Heathrow during the period 15th November to 5th December. In addition, we plan, with government support, to continue to provide services for search and rescue flights, coastguard helicopter, Garda helicopter, Irish Aer Corps, Medical evacuation (medevac) and transplant flights. However, our passenger numbers for November this year are likely to be 9,000 versus 172,000 in the same month last year, a decrease of 95%.
"In that regard, we welcome the commencement of capital expenditure supports announced in the budget for 2021 and we look forward to engagement on an overall financial support package for Cork Airport ahead of the National Development plan announcements in November".
Shannon Airport Reaction
Commenting on the news in relation to Shannon Airport, Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine stated, "We are extremely disappointed with the news. It is a further illustration of the devastating impact of the pandemic on the aviation sector. This latest development effectively means we will have no scheduled services at Shannon for a month.
"As an island nation, aviation is a crucial part of our economy and therefore our economic recovery. The industry is in a crisis not witnessed in our lifetime. If it is to revive and recover, the aviation sector needs a financial lifeline to resuscitate it. The National Economic Plan is due to be published next month and we would hope that it will provide the vital financial support for this ailing sector."
Shannon Airport will remain open for cargo, general aviation and transit business services, and to facilitate hangar movements.
Ireland West Airport Knock Reaction
Meanwhile, a statement published on Ireland West Airport Knock's website said, "Following [the] announcement and the suspension of all commercial flights from the airport with Ryanair, Ireland West Airport will close on November 14th and reopen on Sunday December 13th.
"This is a further devastating blow for the airport and its staff where passenger numbers this year have plummeted by over 90%, with annual passenger numbers now forecasted to decline to less than 150,000 for the full year - the lowest in over 20 years.
"The airport is calling on government to provide urgent support through an expanded regional airports programme for the airport to address the enormous financial losses to support and protect its cash position resulting from the devastating collapse in passenger traffic as a result of COVID-19".
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