80% decrease in passenger numbers at Cork airport in 2020

80% decrease in passenger numbers at Cork airport in 2020

Managing Director of Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said that 2020 was a year like no other for the airport.

Ireland’s fastest-growing airport in 2019, Cork Airport, recorded an 80% decrease in passenger numbers of over 2 million people in the full year to December 31, 2020, with just 530,000 people using the country’s second-largest airport last year.

Traffic declined across all the geographical markets served by Cork Airport. Passenger volumes to and from Southern Europe had the biggest decrease, down 87% year-on-year, while Western Europe was down 80%. Passengers to and from UK Provincial cities were down by 81% while traffic to and from London decreased by 76%.

Managing Director of Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said that 2020 was a year like no other for the airport. 

"We have gone from over fifty routes across eight scheduled airlines to two routes with two airlines. Our story is no different than other airports and other businesses across the world. 

“No doubt, we have a long journey to travel back as we regrow our network out of Cork and become an engine of growth for the South of Ireland economy once again. We are already working on our recovery plans with the support of our parent group daa so that we can rebuild our UK and Continental European networks as soon as possible and reconnect Cork with the world, when it is safe to do so and when the demand is in place," he added.

Mr McCarthy also highlighted the reconstruction of the main runway and airfield electrical infrastructure which is to take place this year. It's the largest construction project undertaken at Cork Airport since the new Terminal was built in 2006.

He said this work will extend the life of the airport and support the business over the next 20 years. 

He continued: "The team here at Cork Airport welcome the announcement of operational and capital assistance for Cork Airport by the Irish Government to assist our recovery in 2021 and beyond as the vaccine rolls out and travel recovers. Ultimately, our vision is that the new network out of Cork in the years ahead is not just the same as the old but, over time, that it is even bigger and better whilst re-growing jobs and connectivity for the whole South of Ireland economy,” he added.

From 2015 to 2019 passengers at Cork Airport had grown by 25% to 2.6 million and have fallen to 530,000 in 2020.

London Heathrow remained the top travel destination from Cork Airport between 2019 and 2020, however, passengers on the route dropped from 379,000 to 91,000. London Stansted remained in second place. Amsterdam was the third most popular destination.

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