March 5, 2024
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SPONSORED: Cork Airport – your holiday starts here!

MORE and more sunseekers and commuters from Kilkenny and across the South East are choosing to fly from Cork Airport.

And it’s not hard to see why. Just over a 90-minute drive from Kilkenny, Cork Airport is the fastest growing airport in the country with 10 new routes added over the past 12 months – and more to come in the months ahead.

It’s compact size and location mean flying from Cork is considerably less hassle than most other international airports, ensuring a far more relaxing start to your holiday.

The airport’s two biggest airline customers – Aer Lingus and Ryanair – are expanding their route network from Cork. In the past year alone Ryanair announced six new services to London Luton, Budapest (year-round), Malta (year-round), Poznań (year-round), Naples, with Katowice being added to the Winter 2019 schedule.

Ryanair will also base an additional aircraft at Cork Airport this winter, delivering 1.2 million customers per year and providing 30 new jobs at the airport. The airline’s passenger numbers at Cork are forecast to rise by 17% in 2019, its largest increase among all Irish airports. Meanwhile, Aer Lingus commenced a new year-round route from Cork to Lisbon last October.

Cork Airport Head of Communications Kevin Cullinane said these are “exciting times” for the airport as it expands its route network, giving passengers an even greater choice of destinations.

Mr Cullinane said: “Cork Airport is expanding, firmly positioning itself as the fastest growing airport in Ireland in 2019 and committing to further growth and development to grow the economy across the South of Ireland and play our part in its success.

“We can also lay claim to being the most punctual as measured by global aviation analysts OAG, and we are the busiest and best-connected airport in the country after Dublin. We are very proud of this.”

The stats are certainly impressive: Cork Airport is in its fourth consecutive year of growth, with passenger numbers forecasted to reach 2.6 million this year. This will be up 8% on 2018, while it has also enjoyed a very strong first five months of the year with growth of 11% recorded from January to May inclusive. The airport has also added six new scheduled airlines to the three Irish airlines since 2017; witnessed a 16% increase in passengers since 2016 and 10 new routes announced in the past 12 months.

To meet the demands of the growing population in the South of Ireland, connectivity from Cork Airport extends even further than the 52 direct routes on offer, with multiple daily flights to the major international hubs across Europe and serving further afield. This is one of the main reasons some of the world’s biggest companies choose to do business in Cork and the South of Ireland.

Last year Air France launched a daily flight from Cork to Paris-Charles de Gaulle, providing an additional option to the existing Aer Lingus service. Overall, Cork-Paris saw an increase of 30,450 passengers since the Air France launch. This has delivered both inbound French visitors to Munster (lots of them!) and long-haul connections for outbound leisure and business passengers in Munster to the Air France global network.

Air France globally serves such exotic destinations as Bangkok, Havana and Shanghai, bought with one ticket from Cork and your bags transfer automatically as you change planes seamlessly in Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Other hub and long haul options out of Cork include the airport’s four daily departures to Heathrow connecting to the extensive British Airways world network.

In addition, they have double daily flights to Manchester connecting to Virgin Atlantic and Etihad networks.

The airport also offers 12 weekly departures to Amsterdam with Aer Lingus feeding into the KLM global network; four weekly flights to Zürich, offering onward connection with Swiss; and two weekly departures to Madrid, connecting to Iberia’s worldwide network which has really strong South American connections. This means local travellers can avail of one of the great long-haul options through one of Cork’s hubs (Amsterdam, Heathrow, Zurich Paris or Madrid).

Other hot spots, including Alicante, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Gdansk, Glasgow, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Liverpool, Malaga, Manchester, Paris, Tenerife and Wroclaw are served all year. In total, there are over 50 routes on offer from Cork Airport, along with daily long-haul connectivity through major European hub Airports.

Cork Airport also boasts Ireland’s first ASPIRE airport business lounge, operated by Swissport. The investment in the lounge will total €500,000 over four years and comes as a direct response to a significant increase in demand for premium lounge access from business travellers across the south of Ireland.

Cork Airport continues to drive passenger numbers through working closely with existing and future airline customers, and through innovative marketing and business development. Last year the airport’s business development was recognised for its proactive aviation marketing, winning the prestigious World Routes 2018 Best Airport Under 4 Million Passengers Award.

Cork Airport was also recently named the Airport Council International’s (ACI) best Airport in Europe under 5 million passengers, having also won the award in 2017.

As Mr Cullinane puts it: “This was a huge testament to our development, as we continually strive for excellence, new routes and expansion.”

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