Cork Airport’s €1 billion impact on the Irish economy

Cork Airport contributed just over €1 billion to the Irish economy and supported more than 12,650 job 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, 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.

Picture courtesy of Brian Lougheed.

“On top of the employment and trade at the airport itself, a whole secondary tier of economic activity is enabled in the wider region.

“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.”

While operator daa’s CEO, Kenny Jacobs, noted: 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.”

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