The number of flights handled at Cork Airport increased by 3.8% last year, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) confirmed today.
A spokesperson for the airport told the Evening Echo that it saw passenger numbers up 4% to 2.4 million in 2018 and that this is expected to grow by a further 7% to 2.6 million passengers this year. They attribute this growth to an increase in flight services from Cork Airport.
The 20,634 flights in and out of the airport were part of a broader trend of increased air traffic across Ireland last year.
The IAA has confirmed that 1,151,995 flights were handled safely by its Air Traffic Control team in 2018. This represents a 1.4% increase in Irish air traffic over 2017 figures and is the highest number of flights on record travelling through Irish airspace.
Commercial flights have increased across all three state airports of Dublin, Shannon and Cork. Of the three, Cork’s increase of 3.8% was the lowest.
Dublin Airport handled 226,181 flights, a 4.8% increase. Shannon Airport handled 20,102 flights last year, a 4.8% increase on 2017.
Peter Kearney, the IAA Chief Executive, said the authority intends to “build on the progress achieved over the past 25 years through further innovation and improvements.” Flights that pass over Ireland without landing here, but are handled by Irish air traffic controllers, increased to 345,403; these are flights which do not land in Ireland.
Speaking in November, Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said they forecast 2.6 million passengers to travel through Cork Airport in 2019, a 7% on last year.
“We will deliver our fourth consecutive year of growth in 2019 with a further increase of 7% (of passengers)."