Saturday 23 June 2018

Cork Airport faces race against time as 300 passengers are stranded by cancellations

Aer Lingus has cancelled all remaining flights from Cork Airport

Ralph Riegel and Ian Begley

CORK Airport faces a race against time to resume flight operations and get stranded passengers to their destinations before the worst of Storm Emma hits.

The main runway at the airport is expected to resume flight services from 10am today after being closed last night to facilitate snow and ice clearance work.

However, flight services are expected to be badly hit after 2pm when the second wave of Storm Emma hits and Cork will suffer blizzard-like conditions.

Cork Airport brought in support contractors last night to assist their own runway clearance teams.

Aer Lingus has cancelled all remaining flights at Cork Airport today. A decision on schedules for tomorrow will be made later today.

Cork Airport crews are still working to clear compacted snow and ice from the runway and taxiways to facilitate Ryanair flights in and out of London Stansted before lunchtime. A further update will be made at 11am.

Norwegian’s service from Boston Providence did not operate inbound this morning and this afternoon’s departure is cancelled.

Passengers are advised to contact their airline’s website to rebook, seek a refund and for the latest travel advice.

Shannon Airport has maintained normal operations but, like Cork and Dublin, is keeping operations under review in light of the impending blizzards.

Camp beds were provided at Cork Airport last night as over 300 passengers were stranded by flight cancellations due to snow and ice.

The decision to provide the camp beds was taken after the airport's flight operations were severely hit by the deteriorating weather.

Blankets and pillows were also being provided for stranded passengers many of whom were hoping to fly to Spain and the UK but whose flights fell victim to the severe weather.

Cork is now under a Status Red weather alert as moisture from Storm Emma, being driven north from the Bay of Biscay, meets with the Russian Arctic airflow and dumps more snow over Munster and Leinster.

Cork Airport staff have also been helping provide hot food and drinks to passengers stranded by the severe weather conditions.

The airport had yesterday initially avoided the worst of the weather disruption which hit Dublin Airport.

Over the morning the main problems at Cork were experienced from aircraft being unable to land at their destination airports due to weather conditions.

However, snow falls increased over Cork from lunchtime yesterday causing major problems.

Adding further to the problems were increasingly treacherous driving conditions on the main access route from Cork city to the airport.

Three flights were cancelled from 7.25pm last night including departures to Malaga, London Heathrow and Liverpool.

The airlines impacted were Aer Lingus and Ryanair.

Cork Airport have urged intending passengers to check with their airlines as regards flight status.

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