Into the air: 16 new flights taking off from Ireland in 2020
New year, new decade, new flights... Pól Ó Conghaile casts his eye over the new services available from Ireland in 2020.
Every year sees a reshuffling of airline routes and schedules, and 2020 is no different - with over a dozen new flights set for take off from the country's main airports.
New flights from Cork in 2020
Cork Airport had an impressive 2019, growing by 8pc to become “the fastest growing airport on the island of Ireland this year," according to its Managing Director, Niall MacCarthy.
Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.
So what's new for 2020?
On March 30, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will launch a new daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport - operated by KLM Cityhopper using Embraer 175 and Embraer 190 aircraft.
Ryanair will also fly direct to Zadar from Cork from May 3 next (in other Croatia news, Aer Lingus is set to increase its Cork-Dubrovnik service from two to three flights per week).
Air France is also set to double its frequency on the Cork to Paris-Charles de Gaulle route, with the addition of a second daily service from March 29 to October 2020.
New flights from Dublin Airport in 2020
Dublin experienced a record year in 2019, with passenger numbers expected to easily surpass last year's 31.5m by the time final figures are tallied.
However, the loss of services like Cathay Pacific's route to Hong Kong and a Hainan flight to Beijing contributed to a year-on-year decline for the month of November - its first monthly decline since March, 2014.
2020 sees three new routes from Aer Lingus, including its first direct service to Rhodes, a summer schedule due for a twice-weekly rota from May 23.
Two other new services were announced as part of its Summer 2020 schedule - a twice-weekly flight to Brindisi in Puglia also taking off on May 23, and twice-weekly flights from Dublin to Alghero in Sardinia commencing on May 24.
Long-haul routes coming to Dublin in 2020 include El Al flights to Tel Aviv in Israel - a non-stop, three-times weekly service taking off on May 26, and a new Juneyao service to Shanghai (via Helsinki) from March 29.
United Airlines has also announced a new, daily, year-round route to San Francisco from Dublin set to take off on June 6. The non-stop service will use a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, competing with Aer Lingus's service.
Ryanair, meanwhile, has announced several new summer departures from Dublin.
The airline will fly to Verona (three-times per week), Marseille (5p/w), Palanga in Lithuania (3p/w) and Podgorica in Montenegro (2p/w) during summer 2020, it has announced.
New flights from Ireland West in 2020
Lauda, the low-cost Austrian airline owned by Ryanair, announced its first ever service from regional Ireland last November - a twice-weekly service from Ireland West Knock to Palma de Mallorca.
Taking off this March 31, the route will operate every Tuesday and Friday for the summer season.
New flights from Shannon in 2020
Shannon arguably had the toughest year of all Irish airports, shedding over 120,000 seats due to the loss of Boeing 737 Max flights with Norwegian and Air Canada.
Ryanair has also said it will discontinue Shannon services to Bristol, East Midlands and Ibiza.
There is some good news for 2020, however, in the shape of a new, direct route to Vienna with Lauda. The summer service will commence from the end of March 2020.
Other new routes for this year include four-times weekly flights to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) from March 29, and a three-times weekly route to Barcelona from May 2.
Both are operated by Aer Lingus, and will run until October 31.