Passenger numbers at Cork Airport in Ireland have risen to just over 2 million in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 9%.
The airport welcomed its two millionth passenger of 2019 last weekend and expects passenger numbers to hit 2.6 million by the end of the year, which would be an 8% increase for the full year.
Traffic has increased by 16% over the past three years and this year’s performance means passenger numbers will have increased by 25% in four years (2.1m in 2015 v 2.6m expected in 2019.)
Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy said passenger numbers at the airport were “thriving” making it the fastest growing airport on the island of Ireland in the first three quarters of this year.
“We have already announced six new routes and service expansions for 2020 and we are expecting more good news in the next few weeks for 2020, which will further increase consumer choice into and out of Cork,” he continued. The airport intends to retain the title of Ireland’s fastest growing airport into 2020 he said, adding, “This is despite the undoubted challenges which lie ahead with Brexit.”
“Twelve new route announcements in as many months and further growth announcements in the past week by Ryanair, SWISS and TUI all point to strong airline confidence in the market we serve right across the South of Ireland,” he commented.
SWISS is expanding its Summer 2020 season to Zurich, operating four flights per week – on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – commencing 29 March and running until 20 October. This marks a 15% increase on capacity compared to Summer 2019, with an additional 4,400 seats on offer and an expansion to 30 weeks from 27 weeks.
TUI will increase its capacity by 11% at Cork Airport next summer and will operate three times weekly, using its own branded chartered aircraft. In 2020, the airline will operate a new service to Lanzarote, and continue existing routes to Reus and Palma, bringing TUI to 31,500 two-way seats next year, up from 28,500 in 2019.
“We are thrilled to see SWISS and TUI expand their services and increase capacity from Cork Airport again next summer,” MacCarthy said, citing growing operator confidence in the markets served from the airport. He continued: “We are confident that these extended seasons will further add to Cork Airport’s impressive growth to date, attracting even more holiday and business visitors to the South of Ireland region for 2020.’’
Ryanair announced a new service for Summer 2020 from Cork to Katowice, Poland. The twice-weekly service will be an extension of its Winter 2019/20 schedule route which commences in October. The airline’s Winter schedule also includes an additional four new services to Alicante, Budapest, Malta and Poznan. The airline’s passenger numbers at Cork are forecast to rise by 23% in 2019, which the airport said is the largest increase among all Irish airports.