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Cork Airport loses two million passengers in 2020


Cork Airport, Ireland’s fastest-growing gateway in 2019, today revealed that it lost more than two million passengers in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

The 80% decline in passenger numbers meant that just 530,000 people used 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: “Last year was 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.

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

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