Cork Airport says Covid-19 travel bans to cut passenger numbers by 2m

Fall in air travellers predicted to cost €23m in revenue

Cork was the fastest growing airport in the Republic, with passenger traffic increasing 8 per cent last year and 6 per cent in January and February 2020.

Cork was the fastest growing airport in the Republic, with passenger traffic increasing 8 per cent last year and 6 per cent in January and February 2020.

 

Covid-19 travel bans will cut passenger numbers at Cork Airport by two million, costing it €23 million in lost revenues, figures released on Tuesday show.

Cork Airport, the second busiest in the Republic, said passenger numbers are down by 95 per cent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The airport, part of State company DAA, predicted that travel restrictions meant to combat the spread of coronavirus, will leave it with €23 million in lost revenues in 2020.

Virus

Passenger numbers fell 799,000 or 66 per cent in the first half of the year, even with traffic increasing in January and February, before the Government locked down the Republic in response to the virus.

Niall MacCarthy, managing director, Cork Airport, described Covid-19’s impact on air travel as devastating.

“We now expect passenger numbers to decline by almost two million passengers in comparison to what we forecast for 2020,” he said.

Mr McCarthy added that the airport welcomed the report of the Government’s Task Force on Aviation Recovery report. Among other recommendations, this document favoured the easing of restrictions, including the current quarantine on passengers returning to the Republic.

“An appropriate financial support mechanism is now critical to support the recovery of Irish aviation in tandem with the policy recommendations,” Mr McCarthy argued.

“Hospitality, tourism and aviation are amongst the three sectors most affected by this terrible pandemic and our passenger numbers at the half-year reflect this reality,” he added.

Traffic

Cork was the fastest growing airport in the Republic, with passenger traffic increasing 8 per cent last year and 6 per cent in January and February 2020.

The Government is maintaining its 14-day quarantine along with advice to avoid non-essential travel into next month. Most other EU jurisdictions have eased restrictions allowing air travel to partially resume across the bloc.

Irish carriers Ryanair and Aer Lingus restarted flying some of their services this month, but have since cancelled some flights from the Republic scheduled for the coming weeks.