Published on January 11th, 2021 | by Mark Dwyer


Cork Airport Experiences A Decline of 2 Million Passengers in 2020

Cork Airport recorded an 80% decrease in passenger numbers of over 2 million people in the full year to December 31, 2020, with just 530,000 people using 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 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.

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

 Top 10 Destinations2019 Top 10 Destinations2020
1.London – Heathrow379,0001.London – Heathrow91,000
2.London – Stansted346,0002.London – Stansted84,000
4.Malaga156,0004.London – Gatwick34,000
5.Paris – Charles De Gaulle136,0005.Lanzarote21,000
6.London – Gatwick126,0006.Manchester20,000
7. Faro126,0007.Liverpool20,000
8.Manchester108,0008.London – Luton20,000
9.Lanzarote106,0009.Paris – Charles De Gaulle18,000
10.London – Luton97,00010.Katowice17,000

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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