Industry

Published on June 12th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer

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Ireland Suffers Huge Drop in Air Traffic

The IAA has reported an 83% drop in air traffic for Ireland during the month of May compared to last year. There was just 18,290 flights handled by Irish Air Traffic Controllers during the month. April had suffered an 85% decrease and Ireland was among the worst countries affected across Europe. Dublin Airport was down 89.4% year on year with just 2,319 flights, while Cork Airport suffered a fall of 95.3% with just 260 flights and Shannon was down 86.9% with only 325 flights. There was also an 80% drop in the overflight movements for the month.

Peter Kearney, CEO of the IAA

Peter Kearney, CEO of the IAA has said that the figures released indicate that the aviation in Ireland has been particularly badly hit by the COVID-19 lockdown. “As an exporting nation, the Irish economy depends on aviation for growth and development, more so than many other European countries.  It is important that we start to re-open aviation as soon as possible.  This will protect jobs, save aviation businesses and help kick-start our economy. As a strong semi-state company, we delivered profits of over €30 million last year. The European Commission is now considering changing European Regulations for air traffic management, which is likely to have a significant impact on the business for 2020 and beyond.  It is not in the interests of the Irish State, our airline customers or passengers that this happens, as ultimately quality of service and jobs could be impacted.”

Mr Kearney added that the coordinated approach across Europe is vital to ensuring that aviation can re-open and passengers can be confident that their flight will go ahead, and the risks associated with COVID-19 are minimised.  “There has been a small increase in traffic over the last month compared to April and we hope that this is the start of the aviation comeback, and the beginnings of sustainable growth over the coming months.”

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