KERRY Airport is preparing to face into a bleak winter as the Covid-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating and the resulting restrictions on travel and gatherings continue to affect airline bookings.
Ryanair have removed the Manchester and Berlin routes to Kerry from the schedule for September and October, while the Alicante summer route which was due to end in October will not operate after the 31st of August.
Only 808 passengers travelled through the airport, all on the Aer Lingus Regional Kerry-Dublin route, during the second quarter of 2020 compared to 102,534 on all routes for the same quarter last year.
The grounding of Ryanair flights between Kerry and Berlin, Frankfurt Hahn, London (Luton and Stansted) and Alicante (with increased frequency in June, July & August) throughout the three-month period was the main reason for such huge drop in numbers.
The new Kerry-Manchester route which was due to commence on the 29th of March did not get off the ground until the travel restrictions were lifted in July and, in normal circumstances, would have contributed to an increase in passenger numbers when comparing figures year-on-year.
The CEO at Kerry Airport, John Mulhern, said: “The figures are stark and the future is not bright. The Government has rowed back on the easing of restrictions at the same time as Ryanair announced a 20% reduction in flights in the autumn – affecting travel between Kerry and Manchester, Berlin and Alicante. We are expecting to see further cuts to schedules as the winter months draw near. The devastating impact of the lockdown has been seen in the quarterly passenger figures across the entire aviation sector and we expect to see many more months, if not years, of toil ahead to recover fully.”
Meanwhile, Kerry Airport Ireland has introduced enhanced measures to protect staff and passengers who are passing through the airport.
Passengers must wear a face mask on entering the terminal and throughout their journey through the airport and on the aircraft.
Now more than ever, passengers must arrive in plenty of time for their flight and anyone not flying, when possible, should not enter the terminal. For up-to-the-minute information on flights to and from Kerry Airport, visit www.KerryAirport.ie and follow us on social media.