Statement in response to Ryanair’s decision to close Cork and Shannon bases for winter season

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RYANAIR has announced the expansion of their Manchester service to Shannon Airport, increasing its operations from five to six days a week.

THE Department of Transport has been informed that Ryanair will close its bases at Cork and Shannon Airports for the winter as part of its decision to cut capacity on its flights across Europe.

It’s understood Ryanair will continue to serve Cork and Shannon Airports although with fewer destinations served and reduced frequencies. Airlines all over Europe are reporting very low forward booking rates until end of 2020 compared to normal. In the circumstances, most airlines are now reducing capacity.

The government recognises that today’s news will be a blow to Ryanair staff, other affected workers and the airports and regions involved. The Government is fully alert to the devastating impact the global pandemic has had on international travel and appreciates and acknowledges the important role of Ryanair and Shannon and Cork Airports to the economies of the Midwest and South regions respectively.

The government has agreed to adopt the EU “traffic light” system for international travel and a decision on implementation is expected at a Cabinet meeting next week. 

The government is committed to the survival and recovery of the sector, including Shannon and Cork Airports, and has already indicated that further Covid Support funding will be made available to safeguard strategic connectivity and resilience into the future.

Budget 2021 already includes a provision of €10m to address challenges facing Cork and Shannon Airports.  This is in addition to €6.1m in emergency funding provided to Shannon Airport in June this year to complete a safety and security project.

Airports generally as well as the airlines will of course continue will to benefit from the economy-wide support measures that are open to all sectors – notably wage supports and tax deferrals.