Cork Airport has revealed a 95% drop in passenger numbers compared to this time last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The airport's newly-released traffic figures for the first half of the year show it expects to lose up to two million passengers due to travel restrictions. It also expects more than €23 million in lost revenues by the end of 2020.
Cork Airport was the fastest growing airport in Ireland in 2019 with 8% growth and before the coronavirus outbreak had witnessed further growth of 6% in January and February this year.
Since March, passenger numbers at the airport have declined by 95% versus the same period last year.
At the half-year and taking account of a positive first two months, Cork Airport says passenger traffic is down by 799,000 passengers, which is 66% fewer compared to the same period last year.
"The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating on the world and Irish aviation sector not least Cork Airport," said Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport.
"We now expect passenger numbers to decline by almost two million passengers in comparison to what we forecast for 2020.
Mr MacCarthy said the airport welcomes the recently published Taskforce for Aviation Recovery Report, which advises the Government on how to help the Irish aviation sector to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
"In that context, Cork Airport strongly welcomes the Taskforce for Aviation Recovery Report published recently and we look forward to engaging with the Department of Transport in its implementation. An appropriate financial support mechanism is now critical to support the recovery of Irish Aviation in tandem with the policy recommendations."
He added: "Cork Airport has been dramatically impacted in lost revenues at the half-year and the impact is likely to be more than €23 million for the full year. 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."