Strong April prompts Cork Airport forecast boost

Dublin Airport passengers break monthly record

Cork Airport expects to equal pre-Covid passenger traffic after a strong April prompted it to boost forecasts.

Almost 3.1 million passengers travelled through State-owned Cork and Dublin airports last month, setting new traffic records, according to their operator, DAA.

Cork, the Republic’s second-biggest airport, handled 250,030 people in April, 19 per cent more than the same month in 2019, when passenger numbers set new records nationally.

DAA said that in light of the growth, Cork Airport has upped its 2023 forecast to 2.6 million passengers from its original prediction of 2.5 million for this year, bringing it into line with 2019, the year before Government Covid curbs hit travel.


“By the end of 2023, Cork Airport will have fully recovered to pre-pandemic passenger traffic,” DAA confirmed.

Dublin, the State’s biggest airport, handled 2.83 million passengers in April, marginally higher than the 2.81 million who travelled through there over the same month in 2019, setting a new April record.

The capital’s airport handled just short of 9.5 million people in the first four months of 2023, and is expected to match 2019′s record total of 32.9 million by the year’s end.

DAA repeated cautions about potential disruption this summer from French air traffic control strikes, which have hit European travel since the start of the year.

The strikes hinder flights through French skies between other European destinations, disrupting Irish holidaymakers heading for popular destinations in the Mediterranean, along with many other travellers.

The State airports company warned that such stoppages could “generate delays that impact passengers departing Irish airports to destinations in France and on flights that need to cross French airspace”.

The 50-plus strikes so far this year caused airlines to cancel more than 4,000 flights, hitting about 730,000 passengers.

Irish carrier Ryanair said on Thursday that more than 700,000 from across Europe had signed its petition calling on the European Commission and its president, Ursula von der Leyen, to protect overflights through French airspace during strikes.

DAA is also advising anyone travelling from Cork this summer to arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes before their flight.

Those flying from the capital should be there two hours before short-haul flights and three hours before long-haul trips, the company says.

Soccer, rugby and this weekend’s Bruce Springsteen concert in Dublin mean both airports face a busy May, according to DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs. “We see large numbers travelling for big events,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jack Chambers, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said on Thursday that the Government was seeking public views on a review of the Regional Airports Programme, which provides cash to smaller airports.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas