Minister briefed on plight of Kerry Airport

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughten at Kerry Airport with chief executive officer John Mulhern, chairman Denis Cregan and chief financial officer Basil Sheerin.
Picture: Domnick Walsh

THE minister with specific responsibility for international and road travel and logistics, Hildegarde Naughten, has been briefed on the crisis impacting on Kerry Airport.

She visited the facility in Farranfore where she met with senior management who outlined the collapse in business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The minister was apprised of the situation by chief executive officer John Mulhern, chief finance officer Basil Sheerin and chairman Denis Cregan.

Bosses at the airport have stressed that it is facing a bleak winter and with ongoing restrictions on travel almost wiping out airline bookings, further cuts to schedules in Kerry are occurring.

Kerry Airport: Further cuts anticipated

Ryanair has removed the Manchester and Berlin routes to Kerry from the schedule for September and October, while the Alicante summer route, which was due to end in October, ceased instead on August 31.

Only 808 passengers travelled through the airport – all on the Kerry-Dublin route – during the second quarter of 2020 compared to 102,534 on all routes for the same quarter last year.

The grounding of Ryanair flights between Kerry and Berlin, Frankfurt Hahn, London Luton and Stansted and Alicante throughout the three-month period was the main reason for the huge drop in numbers.

The new Kerry-Manchester route, which was due to commence on March 29, did not get off the ground until the travel restrictions were lifted in July.

Kerry Airport CEO, John Mulhern, admitted: “The figures are stark and the future is not bright”.

He added: “We are expecting to see further cuts to schedules as the winter months draw near.”

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