Cork Airport has reported an 80% drop-off in passenger numbers for 2020. Just 530,000 passengers used Ireland’s second-largest airport last year – a decrease of over 2 million people on 2019, when it was the country’s fastest-growing airport.
Traffic fell across all geographical markets served by Cork Airport, with the biggest decrease coming in passenger volumes to and from Southern Europe, which saw an 87% decline. Passenger traffic to Western Europe was down 80%, while numbers between UK provincial cities fell by 81% compared to a 76% drop in traffic to and from London.
Ireland’s largest airport, Dublin, has seen comparable drops in passenger traffic, with over 22 million fewer passengers using the airport in 2020 than they did in 2019.
Managing Director of Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy, commented. “2020 has been a year like no other for Cork 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. In addition, this year, we will progress the largest construction project undertaken at Cork Airport since the new Terminal was built in 2006 with a reconstruction of our main runway and airfield electrical infrastructure which will extend its life and support our business over the next twenty years.”
“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.