Airlines, Airports & Routes Topics about airports, routes and airline business.


Old 12th Jan 2021, 15:18
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Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Ireland
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Appreciate its dark times at present but the dawn will come and hopefully Cork will again prosper with route development. Just looking to stimulate thoughts/ideas to get discussions going again on Cork Airport

Aer Lingus
With AMS and CDG now being served by KLM/AF, perhaps EI will look to shake things up a bit. Perhaps a 321Neo to replace one of the current 320s would allow them to serve JFK/BOS and some of the existing routes such as LHR at Cork?

To me it seems that EI has an issue with size of aircraft for expansion at ORK, an A220 would perhaps better serve some ORK, SNN and Belfast routes. Surely they need to look at either getting in this type or partnering with someone that offers such craft (reading on Emerald Airlines, I believe they're intending to again use ATRs?). Such a plane would open up BRU, FCO, MIL, GVA, VIE, BER as well as offering perhaps a better fit on AMS and CDG given AF/KLM are now on the routes. Is there any partner that EI could offer a European franchise agreement to for the regional Irish airport routes, similar to the Stobart arrangement which seems to predominantly serve UK routes?

Wizz seem to be expanding at several airports and now seem a different entity compared to the last time they were in Cork. Would they be prepared to open routes to VIL, WAW, VIE, PRG or even LGW?

Swiss has been a good addition to the route network with good frequency. Would they consider continuing into Winter season to serve the ski and city break market as well as the Pharma sector, or perhaps even add GVA given there is historical data on this route?

Hopefully once KLM and AF can start to show the market appetite for connectivity, Lufthansa would consider opening a FRA, BER or even MUC route that offers frequency. Lufthansa operates into SNN from FRA during the Summer, albeit only once a week, but offers both inbound tourism and outbound connectivity to VFR audience. Perhaps City line would be a good fit given the size of their aircraft?

Cork is also lacking in scheduled ski destinations. Only MUC is served once a week in peak ski season. GVA, INN, SZG, GNB, TRN, CMF are all unserved by scheduled flights. Perhaps the best opportunity is to try to attract Ryanair to increase BGY as a year round destination?

A final thought on European connectivity is Iberia Express. Given they are part of IAG, would it not make sense to codeshare and sell via the EI website to create more awareness to the outbound market? Better timing and frequency could also open up the route as a city break destination as well as connectivity to South America.

Before the motorway, there was upto 7 Aer Arann and 5 Ryanair flights per day. However the US and German markets both have decent road networks yet still have short sector flights serving connecting passengers. Presumably a transiting passenger from hypothetically BOS via DUB to ORK would be cheaper in passenger fees for an airline like EI as opposed to an arrival in DUB? EI offers connections for CFN and KIR so presumably could do the same for ORK? There must also be short haul connectivity potential for EI from these airports, especially on the next legs on the operating aircraft after its arrival to Dublin which would be low risk of missed connections (hypothetical example ORK DUB NCL DUB ORK) but appreciate that involves adapting their business model. I would imagine that the DAA has car park stats showing those booking car parking from the Cork area to help indicate demand, and the DAA would likely benefit from similar car parking revenue in Cork plus additional landing fees if there were ORK DUB flights.

Is Cork Airport allowed to vary landing charges by destination and time? For example, demand for a fight to Bari is likely less than one to Paris, so could the airport have pricing set by forecast demand of destination as opposed to a standard set price, or perhaps they already do this? I would also imagine that this could apply to times of flight, for example a midday flight probably has less demand than a peak morning flight, depending on the destination. Incentivising Airlines to operate off-peak hours to new destinations could bring ancillary revenue that the airport may otherwise not receive, plus provide work to relating areas such as security, baggage handling, car handling desks, etc where otherwise there would be dwell time before the next set of arriving aircraft.

​​​​Anyway, just some thoughts and ideas. Would welcome comments or anyone else's thoughts as to how Cork can evolve once we move past the current situation

Last edited by corkfly; 12th Jan 2021 at 15:45.
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 17:08
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Cork Airport Authority are giving lowered charges to airlines if conditions are met......
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 18:39
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Cork runway is far too short for the A321NEO, Norwegian couldn't get a commercial load out of Cork due restrictions (well the were hardly pushed by demand), the MAX would have been a bit better but still leaving empty seats. EI will stick with SNN/DUB and pre clearance.

The Aer Arran vs Ryanair face off back 15 years ago was a smash and grab job by FR who bled Aer Arran until they gave up as they couldn't make money. FR gave up quickly afterwards as they couldn't compete against the new hourly train service and the M8 motorway. Yes there is business but anywhere you can reach from Dublin you can go via LHR a token AT42 twice a day might work but only if its for EI.

CFN/KIR are PSO and paid for by the Irish government under contract with Stobart and EI handle the front of house. These are covered by EU regulations due distance and lack of infrastructure. Cork never qualified and Waterford, Galway, Sligo no longer meet the threshold due improved rail and road connectivity
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 19:41
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Cannot believe it’s too short for A321, it’s almost identical in length to Luton and they operate out of that airport every day of the week!
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 21:40
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Join Date: Oct 2017
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Iím certain the runway & 321 Neo chat is regarding transatlantic flights not ORK-Europe
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 21:54
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As mentioned by Blakesdean the Luton 321 operation is medium haul and not transatlantic so there could be a performance issue for longer haul 321's off Cork's runway declared distances and obstacles. Luton's runway whilst similar in length to Cork's has the benefit of no obstacles beyond the end of TORA in each direction ie TORA 2163m TODA 3243m. Whereas Cork is TORA 2133m and TODA 2194m.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 07:16
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A modest runway extension in Cork is long overdue...
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Old 14th Jan 2021, 11:05
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Leeds, UK & Cork, Ireland
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I think Cork is going to have to work with what its got for the foreseeable.

The old terminal wont be opened to Ryanair and the runway wont be extended. No realistic proposals have been put forward for how the runway extension would attract additional custom. If EI or a US airline says "we will come to Cork if the runway is an additional 500-1000m" thats a different story, but right now they choose Dublin or Shannon. My understanding is that the A321neo has better performance than the ceo models and possibly the MAX, so BOS is possible, but JFK marginal.

While the A220 would be a perfect size for Cork and Swiss demonstrated that nicely, no likely operator has it on order, unless AirBaltic fancy picking a fight with Ryanair their -8200s and deep pockets. I think Cork is 'stuck' with AT7s and A320/738s for the foreseeable. I think this recovery will be driven by leisure travel, so I think fewer frequencies to a wider range of destinations is how the departure boards will look. Testing is going to help, but will be an additional cost to factor in, especially for families. So 10+ weekly services to Malaga seem a long way off.
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