CityJet announced that it is to discontinue its service from Cork to London City Airport with effect from 26th June.
The scheduled service commenced last October.
Pat Byrne, CityJet’s Executive Chairman said:
“In contrast to what we believed to be well-founded optimism when we launched this route last year, we are faced with the reality that demand for this service has simply not taken hold in terms of sustainable commercial viability.’’
Mr. Byrne said:
“All the indicators suggested there would be strong support from both business and leisure communities, especially in view of the very significant convenience of City Airport due to its close proximity to the City of London and indeed the West End. There is a cost of this convenience as London City is probably one of the more expensive airports in Europe for airlines from an operational standpoint”.
“Unfortunately, with the route now in its eighth month of operation, we have been unable to achieve our passenger load factor and average fare targets. Consequently, our 36 weekly flights failed to gain a market foothold sufficiently to ensure a continuity of this service. This is despite the strong and appreciated support from Cork Airport and business organizations in the region, in addition to a significant investment in marketing of the route.’’
“CityJet is firmly committed to operating its new summer routes from Cork to La Rochelle and Nantes and its charter series to Menorca. While this spells the termination of CityJet flights from Cork to London, the airline believes there are potentially viable routes to other European destinations which could prove particularly attractive in the light of the deliveries of our new Superjet SSJ 100 jets, the first two of which arrive in a few weeks. This is a high tech next generation 98 seat jet with long range capability and superior operating economics.”
Mr. Byrne added:
“The airline business demands the adoption of commercial risk in building new routes. When the signs of insurmountable challenge become clearly visible, as they have in our Cork-London City experience, then like any pragmatic business management, action must be taken. The message is clear that the demand for this service is just not there in sufficient volume and at a sustainable price. I am convinced that there are good potential opportunities for CityJet at Cork and we will continue to assess the market in the region and pursue other opportunities if and when they arise.”