Further Blow to Regional Connectivity

Speaking following the announcement that Ryanair is to cut its remaining Cork routes, Chamber President Paula Cogan said,
 
“The announcement by Ryanair to close its remaining routes will have a deep impact for tourism, hospitality, arts and aviation in the region. Once a route or airline is gone, there is little short-term prospect of its return and this reality is one that will have direct consequences for many struggling businesses.”

“As ever, a firm commitment to EU travel standards and most importantly the ability to implement proactive travel testing without delay remains essential. Without urgent attention, more damage will almost certainly be done. In this context the supports for tourism and hospitality announced in the budget are partial and temporary at best and do little to address the fundamental issue faced by the sector, the utter lack of international visitors.”
 
“In our communications to Government we have consistently said that significant marketing supports must be put in place for route development, airport capital projects and operational expenditure must be supported, the recommendations of the aviation and tourism taskforces be implemented and that proactive testing must be put in place with EU travel protocols urgently implemented. If it was ever in doubt, it is now clear that any hesitation in the delivery of these steps causes severe damage to our connectivity.”
 
In closing Paula said, “With the right supports and protocols in place there is no doubt that Cork Airport can continue to deliver for the region. We were encouraged to hear in our discussion with an Taoiseach last week, that capital expenditure and antigen testing are subjects of focus for Government and that clarity on how we implement the EU protocols will be forthcoming early next month.”