Waterford Airport is meeting the challenges of a more competitive environment and its daily throughput of passengers is very much in line with its revised forecast for 2009, according to airport CEO Graham Doyle.
The airport recorded a 25 per cent increase in passengers using the facility in 2008. And though the year ahead will be far more challenging, the airport is keeping a very close eye on costs and competitiveness and continues to offer an even better, tailored and hands-on service to its passengers, Mr Doyle said.
“Our numbers are holding up on a day-on-day level. We’ve seen some restructuring of routes but we are confident that our throughput will be in line with our plans for the year.
“These are certainly more challenging times for regional airports but Waterford Airport is unique in offering only commercial passenger services into and out of the country. We’re adapting and changing to meet new market conditions – although we’ve always been acutely aware of the need to keep a very close eye on market trends and customer needs,” he added.
Waterford Airport has been exceptionally fortunate in that the economic challenges came at a time when essential infrastructural works which have dramatically improved its accessibility were either complete or underway.
“The new road linking the airport to Waterford city has been a tremendous boost to us, a road which will eventually provide even faster access to the new motorway system linking Waterford with Dublin. We are now awaiting news on other capital works at the airport which would allow us to further improve our services to the travelling public of the southeast.
“We remain hopeful that we will shortly be in a position move critical elements of our capital programme forward and progress to the design stage for an extension to the runway. Extending the runway is an investment in the economy of the southeast which numerous business groups have indicated is critical if we are to continue to attract multi-nationals to our region,” Mr Doyle added.
The regional airport, in partnership with Aer Arann, serves the southeast, offering flights to London seven days a week as well as to Birmingham and Manchester five days a week. Last year alone, 144,000 passengers used the service.
Waterford Airport CEO Graham Doyle. He says the airport is well placed to meet challenges ahead.