Mon, 26 Oct 2020

DUBLIN, Ireland - The Irish government is concerned at the decision by Ryanair to close its bases at Cork and Shannon Airports for the winter.

Th airline says the measure is part of its decision to cut capacity on its flights across Europe.

It is 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 says it recognises that the news will be a blow to Ryanair staff, other affected workers and the airports and regions involved. It says it 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 says it 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.

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