The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has announced the number of flights that were handled in Ireland in April of 2020 decreased 85% from the number recorded for April of last year to 14,907.
Commercial air traffic specifically declined 90% last month compared to April of 2019.
The number of flights handled by Dublin Airport decreased by 89.8% in April of 2020 from the number recorded for the same month last year to 2,067 flights; Cork Airport's air traffic decreased 93.9% to 225 flights; and Shannon Airport saw a 79.8% decrease in traffic to 364 flights.
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The number of North Atlantic communications flights decreased 83.1% in April of 2020 from April of 2019 to 6,972, and last month also saw an 81.8% decrease in Ireland's overflight traffic movements - flights that do not land in Ireland - from April of 2019 to 5,279.
"A Coordinated Approach Across Europe Is Needed"
In a statement published on the IAA's website, the organisation's chief executive, Peter Kearney, said, "As an island economy, Ireland is reliant on aviation for economic growth and prosperity. Aviation is an economic enabler and Ireland has become a major global player in the aviation sector. It is important, therefore, if Ireland is to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and return to growth, that we have a fully functioning and stable aviation industry.
"A coordinated approach across Europe is needed to ensure that aviation can re-open and passengers can be confident both that their flight will go ahead and that risks associated with COVID-19 are minimised. I welcome the guidance published by the European Commission yesterday in relation to re-opening aviation and tourism. It is important now that restrictions on travel are eased or lifted as soon as possible and in a coordinated manner across Europe. The IAA and aviation stakeholders across Europe are working in conjunction with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to establish best practice requirements for re-opening aviation.
"The traffic stats for April show the scale of the crisis which aviation is facing. However, the aviation sector has proved to be extremely resilient to downturns in the past. With the right measures in place, aviation can start to re-open the world for Irish people again. Ireland needs a fully functioning aviation industry and I have no doubt that the industry will work with national governments and international organisations to agree a set of practical arrangements that will protect passenger health and regrow confidence in air travel."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.