Shannon Airport and Cork Airport are both anticipating significantly lower than usual passenger traffic during this year's Christmas period due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Shannon Traffic Expectation
The Irish Examiner quotes Shannon Group head of communications Nandi O'Sullivan as saying, "During a normal Christmas period, we would expect to welcome passengers from all over the world, many of them using our transatlantic services to come home, but we expect passenger traffic for the month of December to be down 96%.
"Normally this time of year is a fabulous time to be at an airport and witness the sheer joy and Christmas spirit, but 2020 will be a very different experience.
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"So far this year, our passenger traffic has been down 80%. As an essential service, we have remained open throughout the pandemic facilitating commercial transit and private jet traffic, emergency services, cargo, and to support our aviation customers based in the airport campus who need the airport to be open for their business. We are the only airport in Ireland that is open on Christmas Day, and we will continue to do so this year."
Cork Traffic Expectation And Runway Refurbishment Plans
Cork Airport expects to play host to approximately 13,000 passengers this Christmas, which is a drop of approximately 89% in passenger traffic from the close to 120,000 passengers that the airport hosted during the 2019 Christmas period.
Cork Airport said this week that it intends to take advantage of reduced traffic next year by bringing forward plans to resurface and refurbish its runway.
Welcoming the news about the runway plans, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, "Although air travel has been impacted greatly in the wake of COVID-19 global restrictions, the skies will reopen, and post-Brexit, Ireland will hopefully grow its position as a global business and tourism hub.
"I'm pleased to see progress on this issue and hope work can begin early next year on what is an important project for Cork Airport."
© 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.