1 Can you remember your first time on an airplane? Dublin to London when I was 17 years old to commence my nursing studies in England. I remember it well as the passenger next to me could see I was a little nervous and reassured me that flying was very safe. In fact, my fear was related to the unknown that lay ahead rather than the flying itself.
2 What do you feel is the greatest attraction of flying from Kerry Airport? Our competitive parking charges and location within 15 minutes of the two main towns in Kerry (Tralee and Killarney) and under an hour from Dingle, Cahersiveen and Listowel are major advantages. Passengers flying out of Kerry Airport only spend, on average, five to eight minutes going through security. We were the first airport in Ireland to offer the new screening system for both cabin and hold luggage, which eliminates the need to remove liquids, cosmetics and electronics from carry-on bags and thereby halving the time required going through security.
3 How many destinations are available this summer? Kerry Airport is ideally located for anyone wishing to travel for business or pleasure, with direct flights to London-Stansted, London-Luton, Frankfurt-Hahn, Manchester, Dublin, Alicante and Faro with Ryanair. New routes to Brittany (Quimper and Brest) with Chalair will commence on 1 July and will operate during the summer months.
4 What is your favourite summer holiday destination from Kerry Airport? Alicante in southern Spain. It allows me to travel direct from Kerry to a most beautiful region with plenty of great golf courses where I can continue to lose lots of golf balls, but in very pleasant surroundings.
5 What is your favourite city break destination from Kerry Airport? London: a great city to enjoy a short break, take in a show and visit one of its many tourist-friendly attractions.
6 What is the biggest challenge currently facing Kerry Airport? The loss of the publicly supported Dublin-Stobart service was a painful blow in 2022. However, credit must go to Ryanair for taking on the route on a commercial basis to support Kerry’s connection to Dublin, a major hub for international travel in and out of the county. In fact, Ryanair have increased passenger traffic on the route by 50% in comparison to 2019, which in itself was a record year.
7 What sustainability measures have been taken at Kerry airport? We recognise the challenges facing the aviation industry in the global battle to protect our environment. Over the past 18 months, we have been introducing an electric fleet of vehicles, which confirms our commitment to move forward towards carbon neutrality. Kerry Airport has also introduced measures that will result in the purchase of electric aircraft tugs, baggage conveyors, special assistance passenger transport vehicles, and an incident support vehicle. Funding has been allocated for the provision of an electric aircraft refueler, an airfield patrol vehicle, a runway maintenance vehicle, a rescue vehicle, and an upgrade of all carpark and runway lighting to low energy LED.
8 What is the one thing you can’t fly without? I’m old-fashioned in that respect: when I travel, I always like to have a Lonely Planet guide with me.
9 Can you share some fun facts about Kerry Airport? Kerry Airport was proud to be a location for the recently home-produced movie, Joyride, starring Oscar-winning actress Olivia Coleman. Over the years, we have welcomed many celebrities from the worlds of sport, entertainment and politic, including former US President Bill Clinton, 15-time major golf winner Tiger Woods and Kerry’s own Hollywood star, Michael Fassbender.
10 Finally, what is your favourite thing to buy in duty-free? When I visit family and friends in the UK, I always buy a bottle of locally produced gin. There are many to choose from here in Kerry – each has its own unique flavour and all are very pleasant indeed.