Cork Airport is celebrating after winning the Corporate Campaign of the Year Prize at the inaugural EU Public Affairs Awards 2016 (EuroPAwards) in Brussels tonight.
Cork Airport won the prestigious award for its ongoing efforts to secure its first ever direct transatlantic route with Norwegian Air International.
Despite political opposition and objection from some quarters in the US and closer to home, Cork Airport has surmounted obstacles and worked tirelessly to garner support for the airline’s proposed historic route on both sides of the Atlantic.
Over the last 18 months, Cork Airport has engaged and petitioned support from the public and business community to secure the new route given its strategic importance to tourism and investment. In partnership with Norwegian Air, Cork Airport has gathered the backing of politicians locally, nationally and at European level through a structured andeffective lobbying strategy. It has also engaged with US officials and politicians in its efforts and, ultimately, got the vocal support from President Obama.
Cork Airport’s Head of Communications Kevin Cullinane said: “We are absolutely delighted to win this award. It marks a point in our journey and efforts to finally land our first transatlantic route. To be shortlisted for three awards and to win one, demonstrates how national and international cooperation with a focused end result can transcend political and social obstacles and challenges.
“At times, it felt like the battle between David and Goliath; an airport on the south coast of Ireland verses big American unions and airlines. We had to battle repeated false assertions in a way that was grounded in dialogue and mutual understanding on multiple levels. We are still very positive that we will see the first US-bound aircraft taking off from Cork Airport during 2017,” he added.
Cork Airport was up against stiff competition to win the award for Best Corporate Campaign with Astra Zeneca and ISC2 also shortlisted. Cork Airport was also shortlisted in the Lobbying Member States and best Ethical categories.