Ryanair threaten to pull operations out of Cork and Shannon Airport

Ryanair threaten to pull operations out of Cork and Shannon Airport

RYANAIR are threatening to temporarily suspend operations in both Cork and Shannon airports in an attempt to cajole the Irish government to lift travel restrictions.

The company has reportedly informed its staff that they intend to close their bases at both airports for the winter, unless self-isolation requirements on passengers flying into the country are relaxed.

Around 130 employees, including 35 pilots and 95 cabin crew face an uncertain future, with the prospect of unpaid leave from the end of October looking likely.

Ryanair Chief Executive Eddie Wilson criticised the government's mismanagement of the green list for travel and said the airline was forced into its position.

Travel and movement restrictions have severely impacted the airline industry, with passengers numbers plunging by as much as 95% in some airports.

Ryanair have been very vocal of their dislike of the government's Covid-19 travel regulations, and last week said that they would consider leaving Ireland altogether if the government didn't scrap their 'green list' system.

The likes of the UK and the US aren't currently on the list, which has significantly limited the amount of passengers entering the country.

It's understood that the green list is set to be updated on Monday, and it's expected that a number of countries will join the list, but there's no confirmation as to which countries they will be, nor how many will be added.

Minister of State Niall Collins confirmed the news in response to Ryanair's threats.

"What I would say to Ryanair is that they have to realise that the government has to have the interests of the population and of the country and the economy first," Mr Collins said.

"No one business or person comes above that so the government will publish a medium term 'living with Covid' plan next Monday and all aspects of society and business will be mentioned and planned for."

Mr Collins was referring to the government's six-nine month Covid-19 plan which is set to be announced on Monday, September 14th.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has described it "as important as if not more important to my mind than the budget".