Friday 23 August 2019

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Cork Independent

Business & Professional

Cork Airport up for best European airport award

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 4:29pm

Cork Airport has proved to consistently be one of the best small airports in Europe. For the third year in a row, Cork Airport has been shortlisted for the prestigious Airports Council International (ACI) Best Airport Awards.

Cork Airport is the only Irish airport to be nominated among six airports in the under five million passenger category. Award winners will be announced at the 29th ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly & Congress in Cyprus next month.

A gala awards dinner takes place at Limassol Marina helipad on Wednesday 26 June. The ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards, now in their 15th year, are presented to airports for excellence across a range of disciplines including retail, community relations, facilities, customer service, security, environmental awareness and operations.

Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy said: “We are delighted to be nominated for the third year in a row. In 2017 Cork Airport won the Best Airport Award, an incredible honour for the team here, as it recognised the excellent work that goes on behind the scenes at the airport. The 2019 nomination is a testament to this ongoing commitment to operational excellence at Cork Airport, with efficiency, safety, convenience and reliability always to the fore.

“Cork Airport is now in its fourth consecutive year of growth, with passenger numbers forecasted to reach 2.6 million this year. This will be up eight per cent on 2018 with over 50 routes on offer from Cork this year, including eight new routes to Budapest, Dubrovnik, Lisbon, London Luton, Malta, Naples, Nice and PoznaƄ this summer.”

Most wanted business routes

A new survey by Cork Chamber has revealed that New York and Frankfurt are the destinations Cork businesses would most like direct links to.

Within Europe, it’s Frankfurt, Brussels and Berlin, while for long-haul connectivity, New York remains the most wanted US destination.

The new analysis by Cork Chamber shows how important Cork Airport is to the local economy and business community.

The survey carried out in February-March 2019 reveals that 25 per cent of responding companies each took more than 100 business trips from Cork Airport over the course of 2018.

Approximately a quarter of all business trips from Cork were long-haul flights with 60 per cent of businesses opting to connect from Cork Airport through London Heathrow for onward connections. Amsterdam Schiphol was the second most popular connection hub, followed by long-haul flights from Dublin Airport.

From a business perspective, the greatest uptake of the new routes has been on Air France’s twice daily connection to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, which was been used by 61 per cent of responding businesses. 35 per cent of respondents have utilised the thrice-weekly connection to Zurich with SWISS.

When asked to rate their satisfaction with Cork Airport, car parking, customer service and ease of use all received top marks from the business community. Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents rated Cork Airport’s ease of use as outstanding.

However, route offering was flagged as an area of concern from a business perspective, particularly in relation to central European connectivity.

Paula Cogan, Cork Chamber President, said: “Our survey shows the unquestionable importance of international connectivity through Cork Airport to business in Cork. While inbound traffic support thousands of jobs within the hospitality industry in Cork and the wider southern region, outbound access through Cork Airport is critical to the FDI sector employing 38,000 people in Cork and for opening global business opportunities for indigenous businesses. In this respect we welcome new route announcements, but we must make sure that new routes also meet business need and not only the leisure market.”

“The analysis of business demand shows that there are destinations of need not currently served from Cork. We look forward to working with the airport team on achieving these destinations, principally New York and Frankfurt which are consistently flagged as key business routes by our members. With an ambitious strategy in place to grow passenger numbers, it is critical that State investment also supports the development of further capacity at Cork Airport and the economic growth potential in this region so that together we can strengthen international business links from Cork,” she added.

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, added: “We continue to work with our airline customers to expand the route network from Cork even further and look forward to the ongoing support of the business and wider community across the south of Ireland to sustain these routes and those in the pipeline.”

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