Cork Airport off to a flying start for 2017

Cork Airport off to a flying start for 2017

Niall McCarthy, managing director of Cork Airport, says there are now 50 routes from Cork to 13 countries from the airport.

CORK Airport is off to a flier as passenger numbers soar throughout January.

Winter sun breaks and a strong showing in the UK market are driving the increases, according to airport officials.

In total, 132,000 passengers used Cork Airport last month, a 6% increase in comparison to January 2016.

This increase, which saw 7,000 more passengers pass through the airport, continues strong growth that was evident throughout last year.

All markets enjoyed a boost last month, with the biggest passenger growth on routes to and from the UK, despite the challenges posed by Brexit.

The three London airports and several provincial cities throughout England, Scotland and Wales accounted for 91,000 passengers last month, a 7% increase on 2016.

Winter sun destinations are also growing strongly, with managing director Niall MacCarthy putting this down to more choice and frequency on several routes.

Mr MacCarthy said, "We are very pleased with the start to the year and to see the growth momentum continuing into 2017."

In addition to scheduled services, which are now offered by nine airlines at Cork Airport, charter services will run throughout the year, connecting Cork to more destinations than ever.

"Our charter operators Topflight, Falcon, Sunway and Joe Walsh Tours will also operate in 2017," Mr MacCarthy said.

"In total, 50 routes will be offered to 13 countries including four new routes already on sale. We are delighted also to confirm increased capacity on old favourites - Heathrow, Edinburgh, Malaga, Barcelona, Alicante, Gran Canaria."

New routes, including Newquay, Zurich and Verona will launch this year, fuelling even further increases.

This is in addition to the soon-to-launch Wow Air routes to North America via Reykjavik, which are set to take off in April.

Airport officials are confident that Norwegian Air's direct services will be added to this sooner rather than later.

Mr MacCarthy said, "We expect Norwegian Air to confirm the details of its year-round transatlantic service from Cork Airport shortly, which is due to commence in July 2017. This will bring to five the number of new routes from Cork for 2017 on top of the growth already delivered in 2016."

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