While Ireland faced an unprecedented economic downturn in 2010, Cork Airport served 2.43 million passengers in the year, a decrease of 12.4% on that achieved in 2009.
Passengers travelling to London airports accounted for 787,000, down 10.4%, while UK Provincial traffic registered at 427,000 passengers down just 2.3%.
Scheduled traffic to and from continental European destinations was resilient and the 872,000 passengers who flew on theses services was level with that achieved the previous year. Passengers flying on unscheduled flights accounted for a further 162,000 people while 5,500 passengers transited through Cork in the year.
Domestic air traffic to and from Dublin in the main, accounted for just 171,000 passengers or just 3% of overall traffic.
New routes introduced during 2010 included additional connectivity into London with a new Aer Lingus London Gatwick service, Manx2.com launching a twice daily Belfast commuter service and Wizz Air expanding their offering from Cork with the addition of a service to Wroclaw in Poland to compliment four other Polish routes they fly to. Ryanair increased their presence significantly at Cork Airport with additional seasonal services to Alicante, Barcelona (Reus), Bordeaux, Faro, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Rochelle and Malaga.
The global recession hit aviation hard in 2009 and while 2.77 million passengers travelled through Cork Airport, traffic was down 15% on the historic record high of 3.25 million in 2008.
London traffic receded by 5% to 879,000 passengers, while UK Provincial traffic was hit hardest due to the loss of connectivity to and from Glasgow and East Midlands and declined by a third to 438,000 passengers by year end.
Traffic to and from continental European destinations was more resilient and grew marginally by 1%, edging up to 875,000 passengers. A further 235,000 passengers flew to and from various sun, ski and pilgrimage destinations on charter flights during 2009 but this figure represents a decline of a third on 2008 as Tour Operators cut seat capacity as a result of declining consumer demand and shrinking consumer confidence as the recession hit home.
Domestic air traffic to and from Dublin fell by 24% to 336,000 passengers as a result of improvements in road and rail transport links between Ireland’s two largest city regions.
New routes introduced during the year included East Midlands (bmi baby), Lisbon (Aer Lingus) and Rennes (Aer Lingus).
Passenger numbers travelling through Cork Airport grew by 80,000 in 2008 to reach a record 3.25 million, a 2.5% increase over 2007.
London traffic grew by 4% to 927,000 passengers, while UK Provincial traffic grew by an impressive 26% to 669,000 passengers by the end of the year.
Passenger volumes to and from continental Europe on scheduled services stayed at similar levels to 2007 at 869,000 passengers.
A further 342,000 passengers flew to various sun, ski and pilgrimage destinations on charter flights during the year, which was down 9% on 2007.
The number of passengers travelling on domestic routes declined by 10% to 443,000 passengers during the year.
New routes introduced during the year included Jersey (Aer Lingus), Geneva (Aer Lingus), Carcassone (Ryanair), La Rochelle (Aer Arann), Warsaw (Wizz Air), Poznan (Wizz Air) and Plymoth (Air Southwest).
2007 witnessed the first full year of operations at the new terminal with a record 3.2 million passengers. 11 airlines accommodated 2.8 million passengers on 42 scheduled routes over the year with a further 0.4 million passengers travelling on charter flights. During what proved to be a solidly performing year, both airline and travelling customers alike signalled their strong approval for the new facilities and services at Cork Airport.
Overall passenger numbers continued to rise by 6% and new two airlines – Air Southwest and SkyEurope were secured to operate additional flights to Newquay and Bratislava (Vienna) respectively. Significantly, Ryanair also launched new services to Glasgow Prestwick and Nottingham’s East Midlands Airports towards the end of the year.
2007 proved to be the 15th consecutive year for passenger growth to and from Cork Airport
Cork Airport's new terminal building opened its doors on August 1, 2006 for arriving passengers and from August 15, 2006 for all passengers. For the first time in the airport's history, Cork Airport had over 3 million passengers pass through its doors in 2006, making it the Republic of Ireland's third busiest airport. Aer Lingus and Aer Arann were the largest operators at Cork Airport by number of aircraft movements, while Aer Lingus and Ryanair were the largest operators in terms of number of passengers. Several new European routes were launched including four new Polish cities thanks to the arrival of Wizz Air and Centralwings to Cork.
Joe O'Connor retires as Airport General Manager and Cork Airport Authority appoints Pat Keohane as Chief Executive
The Minister for Transport, Séamus Brennan T.D. announced the full membership of the Board-designate for the new Cork Airport Authority. Cork Airport Authority plc was incorporated on 16th September 2004 and will in due course, own and operate Cork Airport.
An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern T.D. turns the first sod for the €140million investment on a brand new terminal, multi-storey car park, new air traffic control building and a new cargo village, on 26th June; Cork Airport reaches 2 million passengers in November.
Cork Airport was named as the Best Irish Airport by the Minister for Public Enterprise, Mrs. Mary O'Rourke TD, at the annual Airline of the Year Awards. The Airline of the Year Awards are presented based on the results of a survey by Chambers Ireland's Air Transport Users Council carried out among the top 1,000 companies in Ireland
Cork Airport Great Southern Hotel opened for business 20th March - official opening on 31st May by Mary O'Rourke, T.D. Minister for Public Enterprise. Extension of northern ramp and taxiway began; Cork Airport celebrates its 40th Anniversary.
Catering franchise split in summer of 2000 - Kylemore obtained bar and airport franchise and Alpha the flight catering; Cork Airport opened a new look Travel Value Shop in November.
Covering of asphalt overlay and other necessary work completed on main runway 17/35 in May; Duty Free sales within the E.U. ended 30th June; Passenger traffic reached over 1.5million at end of year.
In March, Barry Roche Airport General Manager retired and was replaced by Joe O'Connor; Two new freight buildings completed in May. Further extensions to both main and freight ramps. Construction of Airport Business Park began in October.
The Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Bill 1997, provided for the transfer of Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports, currently vested in the Minister, to Aer Rianta plc. The Act rendered the company liable for corporation tax on profits from its operations.
Bond Helicopters (Ireland) Ltd awarded long-term contract by Marathon Petroleum to provide a helicopter service to their two Kinsale platforms from Cork Airport.
New Freight Terminal and Freight Ramp opened by Hugh Coveney T.D. Minister of State in November.
Phase IV of the development Plan officially opened by Brian Cowan T.D. Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications on 26th October.
Servisair began operations in Cork in March.
Bewleys took over airport catering in January; Two light aircraft from Iona Flying School collided over Bandon 26th February - one crashed and both occupants were killed; King Karl Gustav of Sweden inspected guard of honour at airport on 9th April; Phase III of Terminal Expansion and Development Plan completed and was officially opened by Máire Geoghan Quinn T.D. Minister for Tourism and Transport.
An Taoiseach Charles Haughey T.D. officially opened Phase II on 24th February and also inaugurated a new Access Control Security System. British Airways dropped all routes from UK to Cork, Dublin and Shannon.
Phase II of Terminal Expansion and Development Plan completed; Main ramp extension.
Dan Air ended its operation of the Cork - Gatwick route in March; Main runway extension of 1000 feet opened 5th July by John Wilson T.D. Minister for Tourism and Transport; Iona Airways commenced pilot training school at the airport in May; European College of Aeronautics opened a similar establishment in September.
Phase 1 of Terminal Expansion and Development Plan completed; Both Dublin and Cork Airports ceased to be forecast offices for Met Eireann - Shannon Airport became the Central Aviation Forecasting Office for the three State Airports.
Final phase of security fence around the airport completed; Accommodation in the Control Tower etc. restructured; Ryanair began operations at Cork on 8th June; Work began on extension of main runway in the autumn; In conjunction with this High Intensity Approach Lights and Centre Line Lighting were installed.
Airport celebrated its 25th Anniversary with an "open day"; Two highly sophisticated Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), one serving each end of the main runway were installed.
Installation of close circuit television cameras on Control Tower enabling the entire airport area to be surveyed; due to phenomenal increase in passenger traffic, Aer Rianta carried out a survey of terminal with the view to carrying out a major expansion and development programme; Air India disaster 23rd June - Cork Airport operations centre of search and rescue; Cork Air Spectacular cancelled in mid August due to low cloud.
Aer Lingus took over commuter service to Dublin; Gerry Holohan retired as Airport Manager and was replaced by Barry Roche; Airport penthouse upgraded and its accommodation converted to offices etc.
Main car park enlarged; Mortuary provided; Cork Airport operations centre for secret rescue of seaman carried out from US Nuclear Submarine 6th July.
Avair commenced commuter service between Cork and Dublin on 13th January; Facilities for disabled installed at airport; High Mast flood lighting of the apron completed.
Inaugural Dan Air Cork - London Gatwick service 13th April; West German Chancellor Willi Brandt arrived at airport 2nd June.
Main apron extended; Erection of first phase of security fence; Renovations carried out to Cargo Terminal and a new in-flight Catering Kitchen built; President of German Federal Republic Karl Karstens and his wife left Cork Airport for Germany 1st May following a three day official visit to Ireland; National strike of Aer Lingus mechanics took place 30th May - strike ended 4th July; Albert Reynolds T.D. Minister for Transport on official visit 5th June.
Whiddy Island Disaster 7th January - Cork Airport refueling centre for Air Corps, Royal Navy and Irish Helicopters involved in the search and rescue; Tax Free Shop opened in February; President Julius Nyerere of Tanzania at airport on 19th September while on a state visit to Ireland.
Completed extensions and facilities opened by the Taoiseach Jack Lynch T.D.; Members of Dutch Royal family arrived at airport 1st July en route to Sneem, Co. Kerry.
New Duty Free opened 18th December; Dan Air inaugural flight Cardiff/Bristol/ Cork on 6th April.
British Airways commenced scheduled services on the Cork/London route formerly operated by Cambrian Airways.
Aer Rianta undertook a passenger terminal study aimed at improving the terminal facilities. The findings resulted in the provision, over the next couple of years, of new departure and arrival halls, new check-in area and office complex, new information desk and duty office and new VIP Lounge; Brymon Airways began operations from Plymouth to Cork.
Gale force winds gusting up to 112 mph did considerable damage at airport - doors of Irish Helicopters Ltd. Hanger were blown in - Joyce Aviation hanger wrecked and several planes destroyed.
VASI Lights installed on main runway 17/35; Airport Manager Paddy O'Grady transferred to Dublin in September, he was replaced by Gerry Holohan as Manager; Cork Airport rescue center for the recovery of the Pisces III Mini-Submarine at the end of August.
First major development under Aer Rianta management - Fire Station extended; Airport water supply extended, new reservoir and piping installed; Duty Free shop commenced operations 8th September.
Bank of Ireland replaced Ulster Bank at the airport.
Early 1970s Irish Helicopters began operations from Cork Airport; Transfer of State staff to Aer Rianta began; Three Aer Lingus Boeing 707s from Boston, New York and Chicago landed at Cork Airport 27th August due to adverse weather conditions at Dublin and Shannon.
Charles de Gaulle landed at airport en route to Heron Cove Hotel near Parknasilla.
Outbreak of Foot & Mouth in UK - big effect on passenger figures in the first half of the year; Cork Airport management functions vested in Aer Rianta from Department of Transport & Power on 1st April; Aer Lingus Viscount St. Phelim EI-AOM crashed near Tuskar Rock on Sunday 24th March - all on board killed; Charlie Chaplin and wife Oonagh at the airport in April; First scheduled all night opening 1st June; President Lubke of German Federal Republic and his wife landed 5th June; British Eagle ceased operating on Cork - Liverpool route in November and went in to bankruptcy.
Cork Airport was considered by the Government as a composite project, including land acquisition, construction of runways, apron, roads, airport buildings, provision of navigational aids, etc. The estimated cost of the project as a whole, as approved by the Government, was £1 million. The final cost was £1,174,000.
President De Valera at airport 24th July en route to Cape Clear to open Irish College; Remains of Sister Eamon Sullivan who was expelled by the Cultural Revolutionary Guards in Peking, landed in Cork.
Cork - Manchester service inaugurated by Aer Lingus 31st May; Arrivals hall in terminal building widened; Control Tower double glazed; VASI (Visual Slope Indicator) lights installed on Runway 25; World War II planes at airport in June for the making of film The Blue Max; Douglas Bader, famous World War II RAF fighter pilot at airport 16th September and made honorary life member of Munster Aero Club.
Harringtons took over airport catering from Great Southern Hotels; Flying club house officially opened 29th March; First jet to land at Cork Airport, a BOAC Comet G-APDI operated for Aer Lingus, on 31st July; British Eagle takes over Cork - Liverpool route from Starways; Guinness Festival Clock on display at airport June/July; Fatal crash of private plane, a five-seater Piper Comanche on 7th August - three members of the Gaulle family from Youghal and the pilot were killed.
Aer Lingus began operating an air car ferry on Cork - Bristol route using ATL-98 Carvairs (converted DC-4s).
Great Southern Hotels appointed caters at Cork Airport in Spring of 1962. A Super Constellation ditched in Atlantic 23rd September - Cork Airport involved in search and rescue operations.
Proving flights by Aer Lingus and Cambrian Airways carried out 12th October. Airport officially opened 16th October.
Tenders invited for construction of airport - estimated cost £1million
Government agrees in principle that Cork Airport should be built at Ballygarvan.
Farmers Cross airfield officially opened Sunday 9th May.
Due to rapid developments in aviation, Government requests further survey of potential airport sites. Ahanesk and Ballygarvan are now the two main site contenders.
Government approved proposal to establish a land airport for Cork - World War II breaks out in September and all airport plans are abandoned.
Branch of the Irish Aero Club formed in Cork in April.1936 - Foynes selected as seaplane base; site at Ahanesk, Midleton chosen as site for Cork Airport following survey.
Richard F. O'Connor, Cork Co. Surveyor makes his ideas for an airport known - aerodrome site at Belvelly and seaplane base in Cork Harbour; Cobham's Air Circus at Ballincollig 5th and 6th July.
Beginning of decade saw trans-Atlantic seaplane service become a reality.
First move to get an air base for Cork - Cork Harbour Commissioners invited Col. Charles Russell, former Irish Army Corps to address them.
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