Cork Airport offers more than 40 routes

Kieran Walsh reports

Cork Airport is making a bigger push this year to increase business form Waterford for its summer programme.
They will have 41 routes going from Cork to UK , Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Greece, Poland and more.
A special promotion was carried out in the Waterford area in the week before Easter.
Kevin Cullinane wants to welcome more Waterford business and noted that the airport is only about 90 minutes form Waterford environs.
With nine new routes to UK and France as well as Wroclaw in Poland, Madrid in Spain, Nantes and La Rochelle in France, plus Leeds and Southampton UK.
With just eight departure gates, Cork can be more hassle free than Dublin added Irish Times travel editor Joan Scales. This compares with many more departure gates and longer distances to walk in Dublin, an important point for older travellers.
The shopping temptation in Dublin was also mentioned, where extra holiday monies can be spent easily.
Parking at Cork Airport is also closer to the terminal and can be less expensive. Another imminent breakthrough is a planned transatlantic route to Boston with Norwegian Air this coming summer. Kevin Cullinane of Cork Airport says there is an ambition to fly to New York next year.
Waterford travel agents welcomed the new routes from Cork. There is big demand for the old favourites like Spain, France Portugal and Italy given events in other destinations such as Turkey, Greece and Tunisia. This means that prices are up despite lower fuel charges.
After many years of recessions family holidays are back, the wet summer last year is also a reminder of the summer weather changes in Ireland.
Alan Short, broadcaster and comedian gave a presentation with Joan Scales followed by a questions and answer session.
The general view is that people in a post recession mood want a sun holiday and are willing to pay for a treat following some tough years.
It also needs to be pointed out that many British, Dutch and Germans are also travelling to Spain and Portugal but less to Greece, hence more demand for Spain. The advice is to book early added Joan Scales.
Planes are full she noted and Ryanair are breaking new records in terms of numbers handled, but some fares are nearly double of two years ago for summer ‘s popular routes . Demand drives fares up. Ryanair carried 91 million passengers in 2014 and over 100 million in 2015.
Cork is easier than Dublin, check in items are less, you need to allow two to three hours in Dublin at peak times, due to security issues and delays of 15-20 minutes.
Some 1.6 million visitors go to Spain from Ireland, well ahead of nearest competitors like France and Portugal.
Another point raised at the event in McLeary’s Restaurant hosted by Cork Airport was that city breaks are back and now with Eastern Europe destinations like Poland’s Wroclaw, Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, plus Leeds and other UK destinations this year. Paris and Amsterdam are other favourites.
We also recommend using local travel agents, where possible for extra security and better deals. As Joan points out they have far more access to deals than the average consumer surfing the net seeking a bargain.
The message though is book early to secure the best deals possible.

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