MORE than 14,000 passengers have travelled on Cork's first direct transatlantic service since it launched in July.
Officials at Cork Airport confirmed that the route between Cork and Providence, Rhode Island has contributed to an overall rise in passenger numbers at the facility this year. The airport is on course to welcome more than 2.3 million passengers by the end of the year.
An additional 6,000 passengers travelled through Cork Airport in November in comparison to the same month last year, an increase of 4%.
In all, 152,000 passengers used Cork Airport last month, with increases evident on a number of connections to Europe and North America.
Niall MacCarthy, managing director of Cork Airport, said the positive trends 'Brexit-proof' the airport ahead of uncertainty in the market.
"Cork Airport's passenger numbers have consistently grown this year by 4% and not by coincidence," he said.
"With the launch of Cork's first year-round transatlantic route this summer with Norwegian as well as significant European additions with new Airline partners in Swiss, Iberia Express and Volotea, Cork Airport is actively pursuing growth."
He added, "November’s increase in passenger numbers at Cork Airport is a positive indicator of our firm objective to increase routes and connectivity from Ireland’s second-biggest international airport. This also Brexit-proofs our business by diversifying into new markets in Europe and North America ahead of uncertain times for our nearest source market in the UK."
Recent airline announcements indicate further growth in 2018 despite the uncertainty surrounding the market.
Iberia Express will expand its Madrid route by 5% and Volotea plans to double its Cork to Verona route.
Likewise, Aer Lingus Regional intends to increase frequency across key UK routes and expand the capacity of its Newquay route for Summer 2018.