The managing director of Ireland West Airport has confrimed today that "as of Monday, March 30, airport operations will be temporarily suspended until further notice."
In a statement issued today, Joe Gilmore said: "Like all airports Ireland West Airport is experiencing an unprecedented reduction in customer demand for air travel due to the impact of COVID-19 virus.
"At present the airport is open and all flights are operating as normal as we continue to help airlines get Irish citizens and those from overseas back home. However, passenger numbers have decreased so significantly in recent days that we have had to begin to scale back passenger operations at the airport.
"We have been advised by our airline partners that as of Tuesday, March 23 at midnight, Ryanair will suspend all flights to and from the airport and as of Sunday, March 29, Aer Lingus will suspend their London Gatwick service to and from the airport due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Following this confirmation from our airline partners, as of Monday, March 30, airport operations will be temporarily suspended until further notice.
"Due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision of the airlines to temporarily suspend passenger flights, it is with regret that we have had to place staff on temporary lay-off from Monday, March 30 in order to safeguard the long term future of the airport and the health and welfare of our staff. We anticipate that this ‘lay off’ will be a short-term measure and that business can resume as soon as possible.
"In what has been and continues to be an unprecedented time for our business and indeed the majority of businesses on a global scale I wish to thank our customers, airlines, airport business partners and stakeholders for their ongoing support and in particular our own fantastic staff here at the airport for their ongoing commitment and support during this global crisis.
"The last few weeks have been some of the most challenging in the airports history and our staff have gone above and beyond their duty in assisting anxious passengers, providing travel advice and keeping the airport fully operational.
"We are confident that we can overcome this crisis and that both the airport and region will come back stronger than ever with the support from our communities both here and abroad."