10% Growth For Cork Airport In February

Cork Airport’s strong growth continues as Ryanair announces new Katowice route


Cork Airport, Ireland’s fastest growing and most punctual airport, recorded a further 10% increase in passenger numbers in February versus the same month last year. The news comes as Ryanair announced today (March 14) a new twice-weekly service from Cork to Katowice, Poland as part of its Winter 2019 schedule. There are now 52 routes on offer from Cork Airport to the UK, Continental Europe and the east coast of the USA, along with daily long-haul connectivity through major European hub airports.

Cork Airport Managing Director Niall MacCarthy stated:

“Cork Airport is proud to report passenger numbers of 151,000 last month, an increase of 14,000 when compared to February 2018. This is due to the support of passengers travelling from across Cork choosing to fly direct from Cork Airport. We are seeing a keen interest from passengers in continental European destinations, including Aer Lingus’ new year-round service to Lisbon and the daily Air France service to Paris, which has strong onward connections.

March is also indicating strong growth and this St. Patrick’s Weekend we will welcome 40,000 passengers through Cork Airport. In total, 2.6 million will use Cork Airport this year, a projected growth of +8%. This makes us Ireland’s fastest growing airport and the country’s busiest and best-connected airport after Dublin in the south of Ireland.”

Cork Airport has welcomed nine new routes in the past year. Along with the new Katowice, Poland service, commencing October 2019, Ryanair has also announced new services to Naples, Budapest, Malta, Poznań and London Luton from Cork Airport in the past 12 months. The airline’s passenger numbers at Cork are forecast to rise by 17% in 2019, its largest increase among all Irish airports. Aer Lingus has also added Nice and Dubrovnik to its summer 2019 schedule while Air France has upgraded its daily service between Cork and Paris with a larger aircraft to add more capacity.

Niall MacCarthy added

“Connectivity from Cork Airport extends even further than our 52 direct routes, with daily flights from Cork to the major international hubs across Europe. Along with our four daily departures to Heathrow connecting to the extensive British Airways world network, we have double daily flights to Manchester connecting to Virgin Atlantic and Etihad networks and double daily departures to Paris CDG, connecting you to over 500 destinations on the Air France network,” he stated. “We also offer 12 weekly departures to Amsterdam with Aer Lingus feeding into the KLM network; four weekly flights to Zürich, offering onward connection with Swiss; and two weekly departures to Madrid, connecting to Iberia’s world network.”

Cork plans to become a city of excellent customer service

Cork City is the first city in Europe to launch a Customer Service Charter


Cork City Centre Forum, which is a collaboration between various business and public sector groups in the city, launched a Cork City Customer Service Charter today to coincide with Local Enterprise Week 2019.

The Charter, which is the first of its kind in Europe, was developed to create a city of superior customer service and assist Cork’s journey to becoming one of the friendliest, most liveable and sustainable cities globally.

The Cork City Customer Service Charter gives businesses a list of guidelines and training on service, customers and the city, focusing on areas that range from fundamentals like friendliness, skilfulness, accessibility and cleanliness to integrity, inclusivity, respect and excellence.

Pictured at the launch from left to right: Paul McGuirk, Cork City Council; John Coleman, Metropole Hotel, Cork; Audrey Lehane, Azure Jewellery; Joan Lucey, Vibes and Scribes; Dyane Hanrahan, Crawford Art Gallery; John McCarthy, Penneys and Philip Gillivan, The Shelbourne Bar. Pic: Brian Lougheed

In 2018, 15 city centre businesses took part in a pilot training programme, which made use of a mystery shopper to monitor the progress and improvements each individual business made in enhancing their customer service. The course was delivered with the support of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City. A second training programme will begin in late March and is open to all city businesses this year, costing just €60 per business.

The programme includes a briefing for business owners/managers, a workshop for training the trainers, customer service progress monitoring, a mystery shop, feedback and a final briefing.

Commenting on the initiative, Joan Lucey from Cork City Centre Forum (and Vibes and Scribes), who is heading up this project, said, “The Cork City Customer Service Charter will help us stand out from other business centres, towns and cities.  Cork has already been named as Europe’s friendliest city and we want to build on that accolade and become best in quality service also. We need to work together to get there. No matter how wonderful you feel your service offering is, we can all be better.”

The Customer Service Charter initiative was launched in response to the ongoing global shift toward online retail purchasing.

Pictured at the launch from left to right: John McCarthy, Penneys; John Coleman, Metropole Hotel, Cork; Audrey Lehane, Azure Jewellery; Joan Lucey, Vibes and Scribes and Philip Gillivan, The Shelbourne Bar. Pic: Brian Lougheed

“Forecasts for the coming year suggest a 30% swing to online purchasing and also customers looking for an interactive shopping experience. This is where we in the brick and mortar shops can compete and win.

“Customers now want a real connection and a very high-quality service, so we all need to look regularly at our offering. We may feel we are doing our best but we now have to compete with our customers shopping in the comfort of their homes and retail experts all agree that customer service is the key to a successful bricks and mortar business.”

John Mc Carthy, general manager of Penneys has also been centrally involved in the initiative and said ‘We see this as another step in an ongoing journey. There is a great mix of organisations participating with large department stores and independents retailers, hospitality businesses and public service bodies. We believe this is the only such Charter in Europe and we believe it will be another asset as we continue to promote the unique offering in Cork City Centre.’


The Cork City Customer Service Charter was developed over the past two years in collaboration with Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), who conducted research with city centre businesses and developed the training programme.

The training programme is delivered by James Burke and Associates, specialists in the food and retail sector.  The programme assists business owners in finding new growth areas of opportunity, helps re-energise individual businesses, and helps mobilise the business community as a whole.

Cork City Centre Forum is a collaboration between Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, Cork City Council, An Garda Siochana, retail, hospitality and service sectors and other local business representative organisations. It is also an operational group of CORE, the City Centre partnership.

Details of the next customer service training programme can be found HERE.

All Cork City businesses, from retail to hospitality and from  leisure to tourism are encouraged to take part in the training programme.

For further information on the programme please email corkcitycharter@corkcity.ie