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Passenger numbers drop 78 percent at Kerry Airport

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By Sean Moriarty

Just 82,959 people passed through Kerry Airport during the height of the pandemic.

The figures were released last week when airport management published its Annual Report & Accounts for the 12-month period ending December, 31, 2020.

The only flight to maintain constant operation throughout this period was the Kerry-Dublin service which was operated, at the time, by Stobart Air.

The report reflects the severe decline in passenger numbers from a high of 369,836 in 2019 down to 82,959 in 2020 as a result of global travel restrictions.

This equates to a 78% fall in passenger numbers and is reflected in the subsequent 60% reduction in total revenue.

The airport reported an operating loss, after taxation, of €144,996 as compared to an after taxation operating profit of €1,020,341 in the previous year.

The prolonged effects of COVID-19 resulted in a number of employees being laid off while unusual income streams included the entire Stobart Air fleet being parked at Kerry Airport during lockdown.

“Most commentators continue to predict that air travel will not return to near 2019 levels until at least 2023,” CEO John Mulhern said.
“It is difficult to reflect on 2020 without a profound sense of ‘what could have been’. Were it not for the total collapse of air travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic we would have undoubtedly continued our journey of growth. Sincerely, I must convey huge praise to the management and staff of Kerry Airport who, despite it all, came to work, worked tirelessly, and kept us going.”

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BIG CELEBRATION

Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]

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Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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Musician Liam O’Connor back and busier than ever

By Sean Moriarty Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions. On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions.

On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig in London.

Liam and his family played at the Kerry County Council organised ‘ANSEO’ concert in North Kerry that was run to coincide with the Listowel Harvest Festival last weekend.

It was his first live show since he played at St Brendan’s College, Killarney when he shared the stage with special guest, former Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt. That event took place on March 11, 2020, the night before the country entered its first COVID-19 lockdown.

The ‘ANSEO’ series of concerts signalled the return of live music in Kerry and the O’Connor family shared the stage with other local musicians like Tim O’Shea and his Afro Trad Ireland group.

“People were delighted, they were mad for it, they were obviously missing it,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they are not letting go just yet, they are still a bit hesitant.”

This Sunday Liam heads to London were he will help Dan Tim O’Sullivan steer sheep over Southwark Bridge (see page 36 for more on this story).

To cap an exceptionally busy period for the local accordion player, he has joined forces with Moya Brennan of Clannad fame. Brennan and O’Connor will release a new single – ‘Strong in Numbers’ on Friday next, October 1.

They previously performed together at a concert in the Friary in 2017.

“It was such a positive experience for all of us we just had to repeat it,” he added. “So not only have we done this recording of ‘Strong in Numbers’ but we are planning to do the Friary again later this year. After that, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Meanwhile, the ‘ANSEO’ series visits Killarney on Sunday night.

The Fair Hill car park will host two shows featuring: The Gleneagle Concert Band; Pauline Scanlon with Mick Galvin; The Small Hours; The Rising; Cathal Flaherty and Truly Diverse.

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