Published on November 5th, 2017 | by Mark Dwyer0
4% Rise in Passenger Numbers at Cork despite Storm Ophelia
Cork Airport has welcomed a 4% increase in passenger numbers in October compared to the same month last year, with 197,316 passengers flying through the airport last month.
Cork Airport’s Managing Director, Niall MacCarthy said “Consistent passenger growth is in direct correlation to the ongoing success of our routes across Europe and now to Boston Providence. Cork Airport has endeavoured to support the growth of our routes, through collaboration with local, national and international tourism and business stakeholders.”
“October’s passenger numbers are also significant due to the fact that Cork Airport experienced flight cancellations as a result of Storm Ophelia, the worst storm to hit our airport in its 56-year history and ironically on the anniversary of its opening in 1961. We worked intensely with our airline partners to ensure prompt and effective rescheduling and repositioning of aircraft in the aftermath of the storm. We resumed services as soon and safely as possible”, he added.
Cork Airport also welcomed 42,000 passengers throughout the course of the October Bank Holiday weekend. Norwegian said the new transatlantic flights from Cork and other Irish airports were more than 90% full since they began in July and they are very happy with sales so far. Many of the flights between Cork and Providence are completely sold out. Recent announcements regarding increased frequency and expansion for Summer 2018, by SWISS, Volotea and Aer Lingus Regional, provide an early indicator of continued growth for next year.
Old Terminal to be Demolished
The old terminal at Cork Airport is to be demolished, with management announcing plans for a 40-acre business park, from which some revenue will be used for marketing initiatives to attract more tourists, airport’s managing director, Niall MacCarthy, said at a meeting between his management team and Cork County Council.
The airport intends to purchase another air bridge to add to the two it has. The Jack Lynch executive lounge is to be doubled in size and will reopen next February. The county council’s assistant chief executive, Declan Daly, said the local authority is preparing to upgrade the roundabout on the main road adjacent to the airport to ease congestion. It also plans to make the approaches to the airport look more attractive to visitors.
Aer Lingus Regional plans for 2018
Aer Lingus Regional will offer over 275,000 seats and 3,800 flights to/from Cork during Summer 2018. It will fly to Manchester 18 times weekly and twice daily to Birmingham as well as seven other destinations in the UK and France.
“This is the third successive year of growth with Aer Lingus Regional and Stobart Air in Cork Airport. The planned operations next year are testament to our joint and collaborative pledge to pursue growth and development for the passengers of the South of Ireland. As well as connecting travellers to key seasonal summer routes such as Newquay and Rennes, schedules will be operated with a business oriented approach that includes improved timings and increased frequencies,” said Niall MacCarthy.
Aer Lingus Regional expects to carry over 310,000 passengers on its Cork routes this year, an increase of 20% on its 2015 passenger figures. For 2018, further growth aims to see 339,000 passengers fly with the airline to and from Cork Airport. Aer Lingus Regional reached a milestone in June 2017 when its two-millionth passenger travelled through Cork Airport.