Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Leah Farrell/

Ireland’s air traffic decline 'among worst in Europe'

There was a 83% decrease in flights in May this year compared to the same month in 2019.

THE IRISH AVIATION Authority (IAA) has said Ireland has seen a larger decline in air traffic during the Covid-19 lowdown than the average across Europe.

Today the IAA reported that overall 18,290 flights were handled by its air traffic controllers during May 2020. This represents a decrease of 83% compared to the same month in 2019. April 2020 also saw an 85% decrease in traffic on 2019 levels.

The authority said data to be published by Eurocontrol next week will show that is Ireland below the European average for flights handled and consistent with some of the worst performers in the European network. Countries such as Belgium, Norway and Germany “performed significantly better” than Ireland.

  • Dublin airport recorded 2,319 flights, a 89.4% decrease on May 2019;
  • Cork airport traffic saw 260 movements, down 95.3%;
  • Shannon airport reported 325 flights, an 86.9% decrease in movements.

IAA chief executive, Peter Kearney said the figures indicate that aviation in Ireland has been particularly badly hit by the Covid-19 lockdown.

“As an exporting nation, the Irish economy depends on aviation for growth and development, more so than many other European countries. It is important that we start to re-open aviation as soon as possible. This will protect jobs, save aviation businesses and help kick-start our economy, he said. 

As a strong semi-state company, we delivered profits of over €30 million last year. The European Commission is now considering changing European Regulations for air traffic management, which is likely to have a significant impact on the business for 2020 and beyond.

Kearney said it is not in the interests of the Irish state, airline customers or passengers that this happens. 

He said a coordinated approach across Europe is vital to ensuring that aviation can re-open and passengers can be confident that their flight will go ahead, and the risks associated with Covid-19 are minimised.

“There has been a small increase in traffic over the last month compared to April and we hope that this is the start of the aviation comeback, and the beginnings of sustainable growth over the coming months.”

The IAA said it is working with aviation stakeholders and the government to develop and implement best practice requirements for re-opening the aviation sector to ensure passenger and staff safety as the industry takes off again.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel