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Kerry Airport targets French connection

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Kerry Airport targets French connection

Kerry Airport officials want to bring passenger numbers back to 2010 levels - and routes to and from France is their preferred option.

Nine years ago 430,000 passengers used the airport.

More recent figures show that 360,000 passengers used the airport last year. In 2014/15 it was as low as 300,000.

Airport officials, while unable to confirm exact routes, told the Killarney Advertiser that they are actively in talks with Ryanair and other airlines about bringing new routes to Kerry Airport.

Ryanair currently flies to six destinations, London-Luton and London-Stansted in the UK, Frankfurt-Hahn and Berlin-Schoenefeld in Germany, as well as seasonal summer flights to Faro in Portugal and Alicante in Spain.

Aer Lingus, through its Stobart Air subsidiary, services Dublin on a daily basis allowing tourists and locals connect with more international flights from there.

Back in 2010, the airport had a regular Ryanair-operated Liverpool service and Manchester was covered by Aer Arran. Stansted operated daily, sometimes twice daily during peak times, but is now reduced to five-days per week service.

Conor Hennigan runs a hospitality consultancy business in Fossa and in that role acts as a Route Development Consultant with the airport.

“Our ambitions are to grow the numbers and grow the sustainability of each route,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “Our partners are Ryanair and Stobart Air/Aer Lingus. We are looking at other carriers but we have to be mindful of our partners when we do talk to other carriers.”

 

FARO CHANGES

Even last week’s news that Ryanair is to close its Faro hub next year, resulting in the loss of one of the airport’s summer destinations is not of huge concern as figures for this flight and Alicante show that there is demand for sun flights and that should be enough for Ryanair to offer a new route to an alternative sun destination from Kerry Airport.

“Ryanair is a key partner of Kerry Airport and we are actively looking for new services,” added Hennigan. “Faro has become an expensive destination and people like to move around and go to new destinations rather than going back to the same place every year. We are hopeful that Ryanair will look at the figures and offer an alternative service in Portugal to suit the Kerry community.”

Summer sun routes are a success story for the airport and are operating at around 90 percent capacity through the season but they are only bringing Irish holidaymakers, especially from the southwest, out of the country to the sun but are not really bringing tourists back in to Kerry.

The Berlin route is performing better than expected, Kerry people are travelling in their droves to the famous German city and locals there are arriving in high numbers to Kerry. A surprise bonus is that Polish people living in Kerry use the flight in much the same way as Kerry emigrants to London keep the Luton flight busy.

While Mr Hennigan would not be drawn into what exact routes the airport is targeting, he said there would have to be a business case that would confirm interest from Kerry travellers wanting a new destination and travellers there wanting to come to Kerry.

“This is a minimum requirement with any airline,” he added.

A continental European hub is on the airport’s radar, recent political commentary has suggested Amsterdam/Schiphol, although Hennigan would not be drawn on the subject either.

 

FRENCH AMBITIONS

Tourism Ireland figures show that 32 percent of French visitors that arrive in Ireland via traditional routes like Cork and Dublin Airport or the ferry ports in Rosslare, Cork and Dublin end up in Kerry at some stage during their visit to the country and a direct link from Paris to Kerry would be one such route that the airport may be interested in.

“On France, our research with the help and support of Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland stated that in 2017, 32 percent of French holidaymakers visited Kerry which was the joint highest percentage of any key European market to Kerry (Germany also had 32 percent) and above the Mainland Europe average of 25 percent to the county and this is one basis for a business case,” he added.

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Lissi’s love of nature nets prize

After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition. Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature. Each Biosphere participating awarded […]

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After a successful launch year in the Isle of Man in 2020, ‘The Young Nature Blogger 2021’ went international as Kerry Biosphere and Dublin Bay Biosphere joined the competition.

Open to anyone under 21, entrants were asked to write up to 500 words about their favourite experience or place in nature.

Each Biosphere participating awarded local prizes with the top entry from each being submitted to the international competition between the three.

This week the two judges for the international element Author Dara McAnulty and Professor Martin Price, Chair of the UK Man and the Biosphere Committee, have unanimously chosen ‘The Otter’ by Lissi Nickelsen (Kerry) as winner of the inter-Biosphere Young Nature Blogger 2021.

“I absolutely love the observational detail in this piece,” Dara McAnulty, author of ‘Diary of a Young Naturalist’ and the youngest ever winner of The Wainright Prize for nature writing said:

“You can really feel that breathless excitement and tension of seeing an otter. The drawing shows how multimedia can be used to great effect in a blog.”

Professor Martin Price added that it “is a beautifully written blog about a very special encounter”.

“I really get the feeling of what Lissi observed so carefully, and her joy about spending time with an otter! And the drawing is wonderful too!”

Lissi will receive a young naturalist writing set from Dara McNulty, a framed otter picture from Wildlife photographer Vincent Hyland, Wild Derrynane, and a family kayak trip in the Kerry Biosphere.

The winning entry can be read on the Kerry Biosphere website www.kerrybiosphere.ie/news.

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The only certainty is uncertainty

By Michael O’Connor    “History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the […]

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By Michael O’Connor   

“History is just one damn thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee

Late last week, the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in South Africa sent shockwaves worldwide, upending what had been a reasonably quiet week for the stock market. On Friday last, a steep sell-off left the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq down 2.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

This 147th twist in the pandemic tale got me thinking about how much we think we know when really, we know nothing at all.

At the start of the year nobody would have predicted that 2020 would have played out the way it did. Very few would have predicted that 2021, with promising vaccines and a return to normality would have represented so little change, but here we are.

Everyone loves to pretend like they fully understand what this all means and what will happen next. I get it; who doesn’t love the warm cozy allure of certainty. We all want to exist in a world where we know what lies around the corner.

History is a perpetual stream of mistaken opinions and unpredictable outcomes, but the predictions won’t stop. People will cast their views with deluded certainty about what to expect next by extrapolating the current conditions out into the future, but the current conditions aren’t a constant, and the game is always changing.

Unfortunately, the reality is, nobody knows what’s next, and the sooner you can discard any naive sense of conviction, the easier it will be in both life and investing. While this statement may seem morbid on the surface, loosening our grip on our need for certainty can be liberating.

Remember, while it is important to have expectations and predictions, predictions are not fact, and you will be wrong. Not always, but you will be wrong, so try not to be overly tethered to your current version of the truth.

Lean into the uncertainty

Accepting that nothing is certain can often be cast as an impotent statement in a world obsessed with knowing all the answers.

In an industry where uncertainty is the ultimate enemy, telling investors to submit to it is often met with disdain, but accepting the inevitability of uncertainty is so important if you want to avoid going stir crazy as you try and hold for the long term.

Of course, discarding uncertainty is easier said than done. Worrying about factors beyond our control is an inherent part of the human condition. However, simply being aware that the game is not predictable and nobody truly knows the final outcome may help you reduce your craving for certainty.

My advice

Stop reaching for perfection in a world of constant uncertainty. Stop obsessing about making the right decision one hundred percent of the time. Even the best investors in history have had their fair share of howlers. Ultimately you just need to be right more often than you are wrong.

The solution

Create an investment portfolio centred around what you believe to be the most probable outcome based on available information and incorporate enough diversification to function as a buffer.

In a world where anything is possible, all you can do is focus on what is most probable, allow for a margin of error to support you when your assumed outcomes don’t play out and simply let go of the rest.

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