Dublin Airport reports record passenger traffic

DUBLIN, Ireland - The number of passengers traveling on the London Heathrow to Dublin route have reached their highest levels since the financial crisis began, new figures have shown.

Dublin Airport reports record passenger traffic

DUBLIN, Ireland – The number of passengers traveling on the London Heathrow to Dublin route have reached their highest levels since the financial crisis began, new figures have shown.

The route saw the biggest growth in passengers of any leaving Dublin Airport, up more than 57,000 between January and September 2013 to the same period in 2012. With a total of 1.25m passengers on this route, it is 45,000 up on the same period in 2009.

The Central Statistics Office figures on passenger movements from Dublin Airport to all foreign airports were updated in the past fortnight, giving a picture for 2013 from January to September.

Another route showing pre-recession passenger figures was Dublin to the Canaries island of Lanzarote, long favoured by Irish holidaymakers. Some 197,000 passengers travelled on the route between January and September 2013, more than the 175,000 seen in the same period in 2009. The volcanic island route was in the top 10 for growth (in 10th place) – up 42,000 (27 percent) on the same period in 2012.

The year of The Gathering has seen 13.8 percent growth from North America, according to tourism and travel figures released by the CSO before Christmas.

Four of the top 10 cities for passenger growth from Dublin were located in the US.

Traffic on the New York JFK route is up 14 percent on the same period last year and it has the second highest passenger growth of any route (up 53,000). Four other routes with strong growth are Chicago (up 22,000 passengers, or 22 per cent), Washington DC (up 31,000, or 88 percent) and Boston (up 38,000, or 21 percent).

Many of these cities act as hubs for onward flights.

Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar credited The Gathering as having “positive implications for air capacity”. In his end-of-year tourism statement he said it looked like the “extra flights and services” would be maintained next year.

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As Ireland hosted the EU presidency, the route with the fifth-biggest growth in volume is Dublin to Ryanair’s Brussels destination at Charleroi. This was up by 45,000 on 2012 (57 percent), as a total of 123,939 passengers travelled between the two cities. Some 78,640 of these were in the January to June period. The airport is located some 60km from Brussels. The airline had struck a deal for the EU presidency with the Government, including a €49.99 one-way fare.

The data also shows some unusual destinations flown to directly by private or small charter craft, with over 170 airports seeing passenger numbers of 20 or less directly to or from Dublin.

The figures show that 10 people travelled directly from Dublin to Burma in April 2013. In January last, three people travelled from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Dublin.

Private plane traffic was also recorded to several South American countries last year. One passenger travelled to Lima, Peru, in June, one travelled to Bolivia in the same month and another travelled to Venezuela in June.

Once a favourite for Celtic Tiger foreign property investors, Cape Verde saw just 6 people travel directly there in May 2013.

While most people will not be jetting off in their private planes any time soon, the figures do show a strong increase in traffic on routes favoured by business (London), Irish tourists (Lanzarote) and those routes favoured by spending tourists (New York).

With 24 new flights announced into Ireland after the suspension of the air travel tax in the Budget, this capacity and traffic looks set to increase.

In his end-of-year statement, Mr Varadkar said next year would see “likely further growth in access of another 6 percent”.

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