Cork Airport

Cork Airport Generated Over €1 Billion For Irish Economy In 2023

Jul 08, 2024

  • Minister of State at the Department of Transport, James Lawless TD, Michael McGrath TD, Ireland’s EU Commissioner Designate and Tourism Ireland Chief Executive, Alice Mansergh launch Cork Airport Economic Impact Study. 
  • A key economic enabler for the South of Ireland, Cork Airport contributed to the employment of over 12,650 people and over €1 billion to the Irish economy in 2023. 
  • Cork Airport ranks second highest in Ireland for international connectivity after Dublin.
  • Exciting future growth and expansion planned at the Republic of Ireland’s second busiest airport.
  • New incentives on airport charges at Cork Airport announced today for airlines who move routes and capacity from Dublin to Cork while the passenger cap remains in place in Dublin Airport.

Cork Airport — July 8, 2024 — Cork Airport contributed €1.045 billion to the Irish economy and supported more than 12,650 jobs in 2023, new analysis of the airport’s economic impact has revealed.  


Launched today by Minister of State for Transport James Lawless TD, Ireland’s EU Commissioner Designate Michael McGrath TD and Tourism Ireland’s Chief Executive Alice Mansergh, the analysis by InterVISTAS Consulting shows that Cork Airport plays a critical role in supporting jobs in tourism and trade across the south of Ireland as a key economic enabler for industry and commerce.


Day-to-day operational activities at Cork Airport directly supported 2,330 jobs in companies across the airport campus including airlines, air traffic control, ground handlers, airport security, immigration, customs, and airport retailers in 2023. An additional 10,320 jobs stemmed from the indirect, induced, and catalytic impacts of the airport’s operations. 


The analysis included examination of the connectivity of Cork Airport. The 2023 IATA Connectivity Index, which measures the international access from an airport to the global economy, shows that Cork Airport is the best-connected airport in the Republic of Ireland outside of Dublin. The range and density of Cork Airport’s network, including services to major hubs such as London Heathrow and Amsterdam, provides the region with high levels of connectivity and enables easier links to the wider world. To promote enhanced connectivity and traffic growth at Cork Airport, Cork Airport announced today that airlines will be encouraged to move seat capacity to Cork from Dublin by way of discounts on airport charges at Cork Airport. 


Speaking at the launch of the Cork Airport economic impact study, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, James Lawless said: “As an island nation, our airport network is critical to our connectivity and as Ireland’s second largest international airport, Cork is an essential part of that infrastructure. On top of the employment and trade at the airport itself, a whole secondary tier of economic activity is enabled in the wider region. I am delighted to visit the airport in what is only the second week after my appointment and see first-hand the activity, personnel and resources that have made this such a resounding success story. The significant funding to Cork Airport provided by government in recent years has assisted in future proofing the airport’s infrastructure and will enable the airport to realise its ambitious plans for growth over the coming years.”


Kenny Jacobs, CEO, daa said: “Cork is a really great airport and daa is committed to supporting its growth to five million passengers a year within the next decade, while maintaining the warm Cork welcome and customer service our passengers know and love Cork for. Cork Airport will continue to expand its route network, including offering new incentives to encourage airlines that are capped from growing at Dublin to take advantage of Cork Airport’s great facilities. Good connectivity throughout the island is critical to attracting tourists and investment to Ireland and there is a real danger of losing out to other countries while the Dublin cap remains in place. Airlines that move routes and traffic from Dublin to Cork Airport will be offered lower charges at Cork Airport to encourage airlines to keep those routes in Ireland and to support jobs and connectivity.”


Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport said: “It is an exciting time at Cork Airport. We will be expanding our facilities in the next number of years to provide more airside and terminal facilities to support strong growth and jobs. Cork Airport is the best performing commercial semi-state body in Ireland for energy reduction for two years running, and the next step on our journey is to seek planning for an airport solar farm, to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable development. We look forward to welcoming more tourists directly into Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and Ancient East – both served through Cork in the years to come.”


Alice Mansergh, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland added: “At Tourism Ireland, we market the island of Ireland overseas to inspire visitors to come here, helping economies and communities to thrive. Overseas tourism to Cork city and county alone brings in excess of €600 million to the region per annum. As always on our island, air and sea access are vital. We are proud to partner with Cork Airport, regional airport partners across the island, as well as air and sea carriers, to support demand for routes that bring inbound visitors to us. Alongside our programme of advertising and publicity, partnerships play an important role as we seek to grow overseas tourism revenue to Ireland by +5.6% on average each year to 2030. We thank all at Cork Airport for the warm welcome they offer visitors and for the impactful role they play, and we look forward to continued collaboration and growth ahead.”


Pictured at Cork Airport for the launch of the Cork Airport Economic Impact study were (L-R) Kenny Jacobs, CEO, daa; Minister of State at the Department of Transport, James Lawless TD; Michael McGrath TD; Alice Mansergh, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland; Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport and Senator Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann.