Minister Donohoe welcomes new Aer Lingus Cork to Dusseldorf Service

6th July, 2015

New €1m fund for co-operative marketing activity will further support the regions 


Attending the launch of a new Cork – Dusseldorf service for summer 2016 today (Monday) in Cork, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD said the announcement by Aer Lingus demonstrates confidence in Cork Airport and signals more positive, and busier, days ahead.


Minister Donohoe also announced the ring-fencing, for the first time, of a fund of €1 million which is to be used for co-operative marketing of our regional ports and airports.


Commenting on the new service that will operate twice weekly, Minister Donohoe said:  ‘It is very good news to see a number of new services from Cork Airport being announced in recent days.  Last week CityJet announced a new Cork-London City Airport service and today it is Aer Lingus announcing a new Cork – Dusseldorf Service.  I am aware that key stakeholders in the region have been working very hard to address the decline in passenger numbers at Cork and it is clear that their efforts are paying off.  Such collaboration is essential if Cork Airport is to maintain its position in what is a very competitive airport market’.


Cork Airport already has the country’s second largest route network, with flights to 44 scheduled destinations, and excellent links to three European hubs; London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schipol.

Minister Donohoe said: ‘This new service will add to the many excellent routes available for business and leisure passengers in the Cork region.  Cork Airport management, together with the assistance of the region’s key stakeholders, have worked hard to secure this service it is now up to the community to ensure its success’.


At the launch, Minister Donohoe also announced that a fund of €1 million was being provided through Tourism Ireland to be used for regional co-operative marketing activities over the next twelve months. The fund will be used to exploit the marketing opportunities presented by new access routes to the gateways to the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East, and to maximise the potential of existing services from overseas. Local authorities and local tourism enterprises will be asked to supplement funding available from the Department, via Tourism Ireland, to allow a more significant total amount, which will, in turn, be matched by air and ferry carriers and other overseas tourism partners.


Minister Donohoe said: ‘We have ambitious growth targets for Irish tourism which will benefit every part of the country. Our continued strong growth has meant that accommodation and other capacity pressures in Dublin are arising, particularly during the peak summer season.  This in turn could limit growth elsewhere as so many use Dublin as a gateway. Fortunately, new tourism propositions like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East provide compelling reasons for our best-prospect overseas visitors to travel throughout the country, and directly access these propositions. While Tourism Ireland already engages in co-operative marketing activity with airlines, airports and ferry providers from its general marketing budget, including directly into the gateways outside Dublin, this is the first time that an allocation to the agency is being ring-fenced for the purpose’.


Minister Donohoe will be writing to the relevant airports and ports in the coming weeks inviting them to consult with relevant airlines and ferry operators and then submit proposals through Tourism Ireland for the funding. The funding will be allocated based on those services offering the best inbound tourism potential with the advertising activity likely to take place in the latter part of 2015 and the early months of 2016.