The 28th ITTN Awards, Ireland’s travel industry ‘Oscars’ taking place on Friday 22nd November at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin, has four Headline Sponsors (Emirates, Hertz, Malta Tourist Authority, and the Spanish Tourist Office), nine Sponsors (Cork Airport, Expedia TAAP, Las Vegas CVA, Salou Tourist Board, Shannon Airport, Silversea, Thailand, The Travel Corporation, and Turkish Airlines), and two Supporting Companies (Clayton Hotels and Grant Thornton).
Cork Airport is thriving. Now in its fourth consecutive year of growth, passenger numbers this year will reach 2.6 million — up 8% on 2018. Next year, Cork is forecasting a 4% rise with 2.7 million expected to travel through the airport. These figures firmly position Cork Airport as the fastest growing airport on the island of Ireland.
Underpinning this growth is the expansion in their route networks by the airport’s two biggest airline customers: Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Cork Airport has welcomed nine new routes in the past year. Along with a brand new twice-weekly Katowice service, which commenced in October, Ryanair has also launched new services to Naples, Budapest, Malta, Poznan and London Luton from Cork Airport in the past 12 months. Ryanair’s passenger numbers at Cork are forecast to rise by 23% in 2019, the largest increase among all Irish airports.
Aer Lingus added Lisbon, Nice and Dubrovnik to last summer’s schedule, while Air France upgraded its daily service between Cork and Paris with a larger aircraft to add more capacity.
Niall MacCarthy, Cork Airport’s Managing Director, highlights that connectivity from Cork Airport extends even further than its 51 direct routes, with daily flights from Cork to the major international hubs across Europe: “One of the main reasons some of the world’s biggest companies choose to do business here is due to our connectivity. Along with our four daily departures to London Heathrow connecting to the extensive British Airways world network, we have double daily flights to Manchester connecting to Virgin Atlantic and Etihad Airways networks and double daily departures to Paris CDG, connecting to over 500 destinations on the Air France network.
“We also offer 12 weekly departures to Amsterdam, with Aer Lingus feeding into the KLM network; four weekly flights to Zürich, offering onward connection with SWISS; and two weekly departures to Madrid, connecting to Iberia’s world network. We are also very proud that Cork Airport is topping the punctuality league for international airports in Ireland from records collected by global aviation analysts OAG.”
Coupled with new flights, there is ongoing investment in new facilities, infrastructures and services at the airport. In March, Cork Airport opened a new Airport Control Centre and a purpose-built office suite, The Hub, following a significant investment by daa.
These new facilities followed additional investment in Cork Airport’s campus roads and forecourt management technology. There are further developments planned in security infrastructure and equipment – all of which will amount to €10 million in new investment over two years. Cork Airport also has Ireland’s first Aspire airport business lounge, operated by Swissport.
Cork Airport again won the top award for European airports in its class from the Airport Council International this year. This was the second win for Cork Airport at the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards, having also won its category in 2017. The Awards recognise excellence and achievement across a variety of airport disciplines relating to airport operations.