Cork Airport has welcomed the news that Aer Lingus Regional operated by Stobart Air is set to launch two new routes to the UK next summer. The new routes are Cork – Southampton and Cork – Leeds Bradford. As well as the new routes, Stobart Air has announced it will be increasing capacity on three existing routes; Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle and will have a third aircraft based at the airport.
The Cork – Southampton route will operate five days a week every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be three weekly services on the new Cork – Leeds Bradford route operating every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport welcomed the new routes: “2015 has been a fantastic year so far for the airport in terms of new routes and new airlines. Today’s news is further evidence that Cork Airport is now well on track to return to annualised growth next year and brings to six the number of new routes announced in recent months for the region. The announcement brings the total number of destinations served to the UK to 14 and the new routes to the South East Coast and North Midlands means we have the UK covered in terms of easy and affordable access.”
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, is expected to carry 275,000 passengers through Cork Airport in 2015. Today’s news means that the airline will increase this by 22 per cent next year to 335,000 passengers.
MacCarthy added: “I would like to acknowledge the ongoing work that goes into establishing new routes both from the team here at Cork Airport but also the commitment shown by our airline customers such as Aer Lingus Regional. Creating opportunities like these takes time but it’s important that the people in the region now support the new routes to make them a commercial success. This is the only way we will be able to continue to offer the best connectivity from any airport outside of Dublin.”
Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager at the Port of Cork also welcomed the new route and believes it will offer flexibility and choice to passengers looking to connect with cruises: “The announcement of a new service linking Cork to Southampton will connect the south of Ireland direct to the main cruise hub of the UK. This will offer the thousands of Irish ‘cruisers’ a direct link.”
Apart from the obvious football connections, both cities have plenty to offer visitors. Situated on the South East coast of England, Southampton is a popular summer destination with plenty to see and do including the annual Southampton Boat Show, Sea-City Museum, Southampton Common as well as the chance to Walk the Walls of the city taking in the famous Bargate.
Dave Lees, Managing Director, Southampton Airport said: “We are delighted to welcome Aer Lingus Regional to Southampton Airport as Cork is the most requested unserved route in Ireland from here. This new air link will open important connections for our regions, which will be useful for business, the cruise industry, yachting, the universities and those visiting friends and relatives.”
Tony Hallwood, Aviation Development Director at Leeds Bradford Airport commented: “We are pleased to see the introduction of the beautiful city of Cork onto our destination network in 2016. Cork will offer visitors from Yorkshire the perfect gateway for a weekend break or well-earned holiday and importantly assist businesses in accessing Irelands 2rd largest city. With the enchanting harbour town of Kinsale, breath-taking landscape and the historic Blarney Castle close by, a visit to Cork will deliver a warm Irish welcome to every Yorkshire visitor.”
Leeds, the UK’s 3rd largest city is known for its nightlife, shopping and sport. Leeds also boasts fantastic Georgian and Victorian architecture and the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors are all in easy reach of the city. York with its wide range of historic and cultural attractions is only 40 minutes drive.