Aer Arann Blow for Cork Airport

Cork Airport suffered a major setback today with the announcement that Aer Arann is to abandon two routes from the Airport on September 1st.

The routes to Cork & Belfast face the axe as Aer Arann claims it has a fleet capacity issue.

While the Cork-Dublin route is currently also served by Ryanair, the Belfast route will be left without a carrier.

The move is also a blow to passengers who travel from Cork to Derry airport as Aer Arann operated a link via Dublin to the Northern city. Passengers traveling to Derry will now have to take the much less convenient Ryanair-AerArann connection in Dublin.


Cork Airport to get new ryanair routes

Cork Airport is expected to be the beneficiary of a major announcement on new routes from budget airline Ryanair today.  The announcement is expected to centre around a series of routes from Cork to a number of sun destinations according to this morning’s Irish Examiner. The enwspaper speculates that Ryanair will undercut Aer Lingus prices and could offer deals to the popular sun locations for €60 return.

Ryanair Chief executive Michael O’Leary flies into Cork this morning to make the announcement before he jets off to New York to address an airline conference.

The airline is also expected to base a new aircraft at Cork Airport. Mr O’Leary said yesterday that Ryanair plans to “swamp” the sun destination market over the summer months with a raft of low fares. “We have 11 aircraft to allocate for the summer and there’s a number of airports bidding for them,” he said.
Aer Lingus operate flights from Cork to Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote, Malaga and Tenerife but Ryanair is expected to offer prices for significantly less than what Aer Lingus are offering. Mr O’Leary said Ryanair will “explode” Aer Lingus’s market. He said fares to sun destinations will be higher than average but lower than others charge in those markets.

Ryanair issue profit warning amid profit increases

Ryanair PLC said today that falling fuel prices had boosted profits over the past 6 months but added that cut-price fares would result in losses for the remainder of their financial year.

The budget airline said pre-tax profits were €419.4m in the six months to September 30, from €105.2m last year, but said the results were “heavily distorted” by a 42% drop in fuel costs. Ryanair said this masked a 17% decline in average fares and warned that prices would fall 20% over the rest of the year, resulting in losses for the last two quarters. Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the group would be “substantially profitable at a time when many of our competitors are losing money, consolidating or going bust”. He said traffic growth is strong “but at the expense of declining average fares”, while the weakness of sterling and tourist taxes in the UK and Ireland had also hit takings.

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Tourism tax blamed for Ryanair route closures

Ryanair has announced further cuts to its winter schedule and job losses at Dublin, blaming the Government’s €10 tourism tax for a decline in business.

One of their planes will be grounded at both Dublin and Shannon for the winter.
“The Irish Government’s €10 tourist tax is ’tourism suicide’ which is devastating visitor numbers and jobs,” according to CEO Michael O’Leary.
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Irish Government rejects Ryanair bid for Aer Lingus

The Irish Government has decided not to sell its 25%  stake in Aer Lingus to Ryanair at the offer price of €1.40 per share,  Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey announced this afternoon.

The Minister said the decision was taken on the basis that the offer greatly undervalues the former national airline  and that the proposed mergerwould be likely to have a significant negative impact on competition in the aviation market.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has ruled out any significant upward adjustment in its €1.40 a share offer for Aer Lingus which is approaching its January 30th deadline.

Ryanair said it will only raise its €748 million cash offer if a substantial number of Aer Lingus owners say they would be willing to accept a higher offer.