Cork Airport is set to begin welcoming back passengers this morning as restrictions on international travel for non-essential reasons are lifted.
Preparations for the return of non-essential travel have been underway for some time.
daa, the operator of Cork and Dublin Airports, has kept both airports open throughout the pandemic, and they have played a critical role in facilitating the import and export of essential medical supplies and goods.
However, now they expect to begin to see leisure and non-essential business travel resume.
“Today is a hugely exciting and much anticipated day as Ireland fully re-opens for international travel. Our Operational Readiness Team, encompassing every department across both airports, has been planning extensively for this day so that all our customers have as safe and as pleasant an experience when travelling through our airports,” said daa Chief Executive Dalton Philips.
“The global pandemic has taken an enormous toll and people are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends overseas who they haven’t seen for almost a year and a half. We have been waiting patiently for international travel to resume and it is wonderful to see customers coming through the doors of our terminals again for leisure and business travel,” he added.
“There is a great buzz and air of excited anticipation at our airports. We have missed our passengers; our airlines have missed them, and our business partners have missed them. Today represents the start of Ireland’s re-connection with the world and we will play our part by building our business back better and stronger,” said Mr. Philips.
The pandemic has had a significant effect on every aspect of the travel and tourism sector, and Cork Airport is no different.
“Dublin and Cork Airports have experienced a loss of over 43 million passengers in the past 16 months,” Mr. Philips said. “We are working tirelessly to restore the vital connectivity that Ireland has lost during that time. The Irish economy, which is one of the most open in the world, is hugely dependent on international air connectivity for trade, tourism and foreign direct investment.”
daa invested significantly in a range of health and well-being measures across both Dublin and Cork Airports at the start of the pandemic to ensure the safety and wellbeing of passengers and staff.
These include more than 1,000 hand sanitisation stations, almost 1,000 plexiglass screens at check-in and security screening locations, over 12,000 new signs erected to emphasise social distancing and hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning regimes throughout the terminals and campus and a contactless airport environment.
Access to the terminals is limited to passengers, crew members and staff.
Cork Airport currently has six airlines flying directly to a total of 20 Continental European and UK destinations.