NEW York has been revealed by Cork Chamber as the most in-demand new direct destination from Cork Airport.
A survey of Cork Chamber members, developed in co-operation with Cork Airport, asked businesses about their current travel patterns and future route preferences.
It found that 86% of businesses stated that direct air access to Cork Airport is very important for overseas colleagues travelling to Cork offices, with the US as the final destination for 75% of all long-haul trips taken by businesses.
Respondents said New York is their most desired airport for future connectivity from Cork and over half of businesses said the UK was the most important short-haul destination for doing business, just ahead of mainland Europe.
London Heathrow came out as the top European hub airport with 65% of respondents ranking it No.1 one, and the UK as the top business destination, followed by Amsterdam Schiphol. Paris Charles de Gaulle was ranked as the third most preferred European hub for direct connectivity and onward travel; with a direct seasonal service resuming in March and running through summer, there is clear indication of demand for a year-round service.
Describing the results of the survey as “undeniable”, Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said international connectivity is “of critical importance to business activity in Cork, including to the FDI sector, indigenous enterprise, and tourism”.
“While this has been recognised with the introduction of several new routes last year, further routes to key business locations will be required to support continued economic growth in the Cork region.
“As the airport continues to recover, the State must continue to support the development of increased capacity through investment and including Cork Airport formally in the Government’s upcoming new regional airports programme.
"This funding is vital not only to support the growth of the airport but also for the Cork region.”
Cork Airport enjoyed a strong recovery in 2022, having served 2.24m passengers, representing an 86% recovery from 2019 and 768% from 2021 levels.
Managing director Niall MacCarthy said he is “very pleased” with the recovery to date. With 48 scheduled routes operating from Cork Airport, he said he said 2.4m passengers are expected in 2023.
Mr MacCarthy said Cork Airport greatly values the partnership with Cork Chamber and respects the input its members provide the airport with in regard to business demand and said the strong support of the stakeholder community has proven invaluable in the recovery of traffic.