A host of new destinations on offer to its customers meant Cork Airport enjoyed a 19% increase in air traffic last month, compared to August 2015.
The airport’s managing director Niall MacCarthy said the Irish Aviation Authority figures proved Cork was the fastest growing airport in the country in terms of aircraft movements.
Overall, Cork handled 2,060 terminal movements last month, an increase of 24%. Dublin handled 19,872, up 9.6%, and Shannon handled 1,834, up 6.1%.
Cork Airport said August was its busiest month to date in 2016, with an average of 66 daily movements.
“These results are on the back of our new routes to Dusseldorf, Madrid, Leeds, Southampton, La Rochelle and Nantes, and increased frequencies on a number of other routes,” said Mr MacCarthy.
“We know that hoteliers, publicans, restauranteurs, and other businesses throughout the region are noticing the additional British, German, Spanish, and French visitors spending locally in what was a good season.
“We work very closely with Tourism Ireland and co-fund a number of collaborative marketing campaigns in these markets and that is an important part of our strategy to grow inbound visitor numbers.
“That strategy is yielding great results.”
He said, separately, the airport was pleased with last week’s Ryanair announcement flagging growth in Cork next year when they intend to carry 860,000 passengers on 17 Ryanair routes.
“We are working with other airlines now on their 2017 summer schedules and plan to continue the growth momentum in Cork in 2017.”
Overall, the Irish Aviation Authority said the amount of traffic safely handled by air traffic control climbed by 7.4% in August to 107,895 flights, compared to the same month in 2015.
Total air traffic handled by the IAA from January-August to 745,744, up 9.1% against the same period in 2015.
Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the IAA, said: “We are delighted with these figures. We continue to see strong growth on transatlantic routes handled safely by our air traffic controllers.
“All the State airports performed very well with Cork and Shannon reporting great results. Dublin, which accounts for 84% of the total State airport traffic, grew 9.6% in August, and has grown by nearly 10% in total so far this year, with over 140,000 movements.
“This is a very strong indicator of our economic recovery — 2016 looks set to be a record year for air traffic across Ireland.”
The statistics from the Irish Aviation Authority also showed there was an increase of 6.8 % in Ireland’s over-flight traffic movements (flights, which do not land in Ireland) to 33,940 during August as well as a 4.9 % increase in North Atlantic communications flights (Europe /US flights) to 46,050.
Meanwhile, the outcome of a ballot of Irish-based pilots at CityJet for industrial action is expected to be counted on Monday by their union Unite.
The ballot is over the issues of pay and union recognition at the airline.
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