“We are really busy,” said Donal Healy, head of marketing and communications at Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK).
“Business is good. We are back to 80 to 90% of 2019 levels which is well ahead of where everywhere thought we would be at this stage of the recovery,” Mr Healy added.
The airport is set for an exceptionally busy Bank Holiday weekend. Anecdotally it would appear that more passengers are seeking out IWAK to fly from as larger airports experience issues with large queues and missed flights. There were chaotic scenes at Dublin Airport on Sunday.
IWAK is on course for a potentially record-breaking summer season. “Capacity wise it’s going to be our busiest summer ever. We have more seats on sale with the likes of Ryanair and Aer Lingus than we ever have this summer,” said Mr Healy.
Trips to sunnier climes are unsurprisingly proving to be popular. “Sun flights are the big one. This coming bank holiday weekend all our sun flights are booked up,” said Mr Healy.
“It goes back to the fact that people haven’t been away for three years. If Easter is anything to go by then there is an awful lot of pent-up demand.”
He said operations are running smoothly at the airport with passengers encouraged to arrive at least 90 minutes ahead of their departure. “We are not experiencing any major delays.”
Recruitment has also ramped up at IWAK with 50 staff taken on in recent months.
Mr Healy said it is a far cry from what the airport experienced during the pandemic. “In April we did over 70,000 passengers which is about 90% of what we did in 2019. I remember last April 12 months looking out the window at an empty car park and lights off in the terminal. We were closed last Easter. To go from that to 70,000 passengers is pretty spectacular,” commented Mr Healy.