Re: Re: Cork Transport
RYANAIR has promised Cork Airport it would improve business with an extra million passengers, but only if the budget airline is allowed to use the airport’s old terminal.
Last summer, Cork commissioned a new â‚¬200m terminal – and its old arrivals and departures facilities are earmarked for administrative use. Other parts of the terminal will be mothballed.
Ryanair’s chief operating officer, Michael Cawley, has now indicated that the airline could base up to five aircraft at Cork and deliver numerous new routes if a combined deal can be hammered out on use of the old terminal and landing charges.
Currently, Ryanair has just one Boeing 737-800 aircraft based at Cork – and only flies from Leeside to Dublin, Liverpool and London (Gatwick and Stansted). In contrast, Ryanair operates more than 60 different European routes from Dublin and Shannon.
Mr Cawley said a deal would prove hugely advantageous to Cork.
“All the business that comes to Cork is price sensitive – it needs to be. Any growth that occurs here in the future needs to be at low fares,” Mr Cawley said.
“If Cork Airport is prepared to substantially reduce the costs which it charges, perhaps by accommodating us in the old terminal, well, we are quite open to that,” he added.
Cork lost a number of other airlines over recent months, including Loganair, Easyjet and Czech/CSA.
The airport’s main business is now derived from three carriers – Aer Arann, Ryanair and Aer Lingus.
Cork – like Shannon – is increasingly dependent on business from budget carriers and seasonal holiday charters. However, with the issue of the debt over Cork’s new terminal still unresolved, it remains to be seen how many marketing incentives the airport can afford to offer airlines.
Transport Minister Martin Cullen has yet to rule on a row between the Cork Airport and Dublin Airport authorities over who should foot the â‚¬180m to â‚¬200m bill for the new Cork terminal.
Speculation has mounted that the airports will be asked to halve the debt, leaving Cork to pay off a â‚¬100m capital debt from its operating budgets.
Mr Cawley said that new business could prove crucial to Cork’s ability to generate resources to fund any such debt.
“They must be much more competitive than they are today. We have too many choices around Europe. We have too many alternatives which are much cheaper,” he said.