86% of air passengers flying to Ireland come through Dublin 

Deirdre Clune speaking at the ACI's Regional Airport Conference hosted by Cork Airport. Pic: Joleen Cronin

Speaking at the Airports Council International (ACI) 10th Annual Regional Airports conference in Cork, Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Transport committee Deirdre Clune said that our secondary airports are a resource for rural Ireland that we are largely ignoring.

She also said that we are about to see a price war on Transatlantic routes as low cost carriers WOW and NAI enter the market flying from Cork to the US.

Clune told delegates from 28 countries representing aviation, tourism and regional airport interests that we have let down our regional airports in Europe for far too long.

“Our secondary airports like Cork drive investment, growth, tourism and keep rural Ireland connected. We must see them for what they are – resources for communities in rural areas.

Some of the top names in aviation, tourism and airport management travelled to Ireland for the 3 day conference. Clune opened the conference welcoming delegates and setting out a clear message that our policy focus must be on balancing growth away from Dublin airport and focusing instead on balanced regional growth to our secondary airports.

“900 million air passengers a year travel to, from, and within the European Union annually. By ensuring our secondary airports are connected into Europe’s main hubs, we will ensure that we are open to the world for investment, growth and tourism.

“Europe’s secondary airports account for over 260 million passengers per annum. Air traffic in Europe will nearly double by 2030. That’s a big opportunity for rural Ireland to connect with these people.