Passenger numbers at Cork Airport will be down by 89% this Christmas compared to the same period last year, as COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on traffic levels at all Irish airports.
An estimated 13,000 people are due to travel through Cork Airport this Christmas compared to almost 119,000 people in 2019. Half of these, about 6,500 passengers will be arrivals in through Cork Airport for the Christmas and New Year season.
Next week, beginning Monday, December 14, an initial 1,600 passengers will arrive home for Christmas with this number expected to double to 3,200 the following week, beginning Monday, December 21. A further 1,600 passengers will arrive back through Cork Airport before New Year’s Eve on the final week of the year beginning Monday, December 28.
“Cork Airport will experience one of the quietist Christmases in decades this year with just 11% of normal passengers levels,” said Cork Airport Head of Communications, Kevin Cullinane. “We have just five routes operating this Christmas (London Heathrow with Aer Lingus; Amsterdam with KLM; and London Stansted, Gdansk and Katowice with Ryanair) compared to thirty-two routes last year.”
Passenger numbers will be split evenly, 50/50 at Cork Airport between arrivals and departures over the Christmas period ahead. The busiest day before Christmas Day is expected to be December 23.
“We would remind Passengers and those meeting and greeting them at Cork Airport to comply fully with all COVID-19 guidelines throughout their entire journey through Cork Airport,” Kevin Cullinane added. “Face masks or coverings must be worn when in the airport terminal, on board the aircraft and until you’ve reached your final destination. We have taken every step to look after the safety and well-being of our customers since the outset of the pandemic and we remind everyone using Cork Airport to observe social distance and use the hand sanitiser stations and dispensers located throughout the airport terminal,” he added.
In line with Irish Government guidelines and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines, to help maintain social distancing, access to the terminals is limited to passengers, crew and airport staff. Anyone planning to collect passengers should arrange to meet them outside the terminal building and drivers should park in the car parks and not wait in the set down area in front of the terminal.
The Irish Government is following the EU traffic lights approach to travel, which applies to countries in the European Union/European Economic Area and the UK. The Government’s current advice for travel to the 30 countries within the traffic light system is to “exercise a high degree of caution”. The Government’s general advice for any other overseas travel remains to “avoid non-essential travel”.
Unfortunately, Cork Airport is unable to host Children’s Choirs for the first time in many years as part of its normal Christmas music programme this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Cork Airport will close on Christmas Day – the only day on which it closes for scheduled flights each year – however, some staff members will remain on duty that day, including the airport’s emergency Fire Service and Airport Police personnel and Airport Duty Manager.
Cork Airport has the following key tips for passengers travelling over the Christmas holidays:
Passengers are reminded to follow COVID-19 guidelines during their journey through Cork Airport. Passengers should wear a face mask throughout their airport journey (masks are not required for children under 13) and observe social distancing and hygiene etiquette throughout.
INFORMATION FOR ARRIVING PASSENGERS
To comply with Irish law, arriving passengers should complete a Passenger Locator Form. This form is available online and should be completed in advance of arriving in Ireland. Passengers should also familiarise themselves with the EU traffic light system and the current Irish Government guidelines in relation to travel available at www.gov.ie and www.dfa.ie
EU LIQUIDS & GELS REGULATIONS – 100ML RULE
EU aviation liquid regulations are still in place, so passengers are reminded to pack any gifts in bottles or containers measuring more than 100ml into their checked-in luggage. Details can be found on www.corkairport.com
REMOVE ALL SHARP OBJECTS FROM HAND LUGGAGE
Passengers are also reminded not to carry sharp objects in their hand-luggage, such as scissors, nail files, blades, corkscrews, cutlery or other sharp objects of any description. These objects should be packed into checked-in luggage. Christmas crackers may be brought through the passenger security screening area provided the novelty gifts inside are not sharp/prohibited items. Snow globes are not permitted in hand luggage due to their liquid content.
Passengers should prepare for security screening by removing their outer jacket, belts, keys, coins and laptops from cases so that security searches are kept to a minimum.
DON’T WRAP THAT PRESENT
If you are planning to bring Christmas gifts by air this festive season Cork Airport is asking passengers not to gift wrap presents and to consider using an open gift bag instead. As passengers may be asked to open them at the passenger security screening area.
Passengers should plan to arrive in the terminal building at least 90 minutes before their flight departure time irrespective of whether they are checking in online or at the airport.
About Cork Airport
Cork Airport is the Republic of Ireland’s second busiest and best-connected international airport with connectivity to multiple destinations across the UK and Continental Europe.
Passenger numbers at Cork Airport grew from 2.4m in 2018 to 2.6m in 2019, an increase of 8% year-on-year. This resulted in Cork Airport being the fastest growing airport in Ireland in 2019.
In 2017, and again in 2019 Cork Airport was named Airport Council International (ACI) Best Airport in Europe in its class (serving under 5 million passengers) and is one of the world’s friendliest airports.
Global aviation analysts OAG revealed that Cork Airport topped the punctuality league for international airports in Ireland in 2019 at 84.7%.