Business interests welcome new Cork-Madrid service

New service by Iberia Express is one of the dividends of IAG takeover of Aer Lingus

Securing a new summer service between Cork and Madrid is part of the planned expansion of Cork Airport and has the potential to bring thousands of Spanish visitors to the south west, according to a senior management figure at the airport.

Cork Airport Head of Communications, Kevin Cullinane warmly welcomed the launch of the twice weekly service by Iberia Express which will see flights from Cork to and from Madrid every Wednesday and Saturday from June through until the middle of September.

“Securing new airline partners and expanding our route network to open up new destinations for our passengers is at the heart of our growth plans for Cork Airport,” said Mr Cullinane as he paid tribute to the teams at Iberia Express and the two airports who made the new service a reality.

“Madrid is an absolutely key Spanish destination. It’s internationally known for its culture, shopping, sports events, museums and lively nightlife and is quite rightly heralded as a fantastic holiday and city break destination,” he added.


Mr Cullinane pointed out that new service also opens up other parts of Spain as well as Portugal and South America to Irish holidaymakers as Madrid is a hub airport with excellent internal links to all of mainland Spain as well as Spanish islands in the Mediterranean and the Canaries.

Passengers can choose to fly on via Madrid to many Iberia Group destinations including Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife in Spain, Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, Marrakech in Morocco, Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paulo and Santiago de Chile in South America, he said.

And speaking to Cork's 96FM, he said that the opening of the new route was one of the dividends of the takeover of Aer Lingus by Iberia Express's parent, company, the IAG Group as it was now looking more closely at developing routes out of Cork.

Meanwhile speaking at the launch of the new service at Cork Airport, the Deputy Head of Mission to Ireland at the Spanish Embassy, Rafael Soriano said he was very pleased to see the new service being established between Cork and Madrid and he looked forward to its success.

“Madrid is such a fantastic destination and opening up this part of Spain to passengers from the South of Ireland brings great opportunities. Similarly, Spanish tourists to Ireland will be keen to use the new route and explore this wonderful part of the world,” said Mr Soriano.

Gonzalo Ceballos, Director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin, also welcomed the route and said his office would be working closely with the marketing team at Cork Airport to promote the new service which will be operated by an Airbus 320 aircraft with 180 seats in business and economy classes.

"Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a fantastic city that can offer and cater for all types of tourists and it is really great to see it added as a destination direct from Cork Airport, making it easily accessible for Irish passengers from the Munster region," he said.

Meanwhile Chief Executive of the Cork Business Association, Lawrence Owens told Cork's 96FM that the new service offered huge potential for growing visitor numbers to Leeside with spinoffs for hotels and restaurants and others involved in the tourist sector in Cork and Munster.

“There’s about 5.5 million population in the Madrid region so there’s a huge catchment area to bring inward tourism to Cork from the Madrid region,” said Mr Owens, adding the new service dovetails well with the local tourism strategy to grow visitor numbers to Cork over the next five years.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times