Poll: Should more support be given to regional airports?

Wow Air recently said it will suspend its Cork-to-Reykjavik service.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

WOW AIR RECENTLY confirmed that it will suspend its Cork to Reykjavik service from October, just months after the ‘low-cost’ flights were launched to much fanfare.

The news was first reported by the Irish Examiner and later confirmed to TheJournal.ie, with poor demand on the route understood to be one of the main deciding factors for the airline.

The flights had been heavily marketed by Cork Airport, so Wow Air’s decision was seen as a major blow for the hub, which last year recorded its biggest drop in air traffic share among other Irish airports since 2012.

Meanwhile, Shannon Airport recently issued a tender for advice on how it can become a “challenger brand” to rival airports in Ireland.

In recent years, Dublin has been taking an ever-increasing share of all air traffic, with 85% of flights to and from the Republic coming through the capital.

In a radio interview last week, Willie Walsh – CEO of Aer Lingus’s owner IAG – claimed that rising passenger numbers at Dublin Airport has put pressure on the hub’s infrastructure.

It could be argued that with Dublin running out of space to handle aircraft, more should be done to encourage airlines to send flights to Ireland’s regional airports – although carriers aren’t going to operate unprofitable routes in the absence of demand.

With that in mind, we’re asking Fora readers this week: Should more support be given to regional airports?