DUBLIN: Dublin Airport has welcomed more than 27 million passengers this year and there are still 12 days of business to go.
The 27 million passenger milestone was achieved yesterday, as the Christmas rush began in earnest. The airport’s previous annual passenger record was 25 million passengers, which was set last year. The airport is closed on Christmas Day, meaning there are another 12 days of business remaining in 2016.
“We have had a very busy year at Dublin Airport and have been setting new passenger records every month,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “Dublin Airport has been the fastest-growing major airport in Europe this year, due to the introduction of 19 new routes and also additional capacity in the form of extra flights or larger aircraft on 31 of our existing routes,” he added.
“Welcoming 27 million passengers is a major milestone, which would not have been possible without our airline customers, our passengers, staff and all the other stakeholders that help Dublin Airport work on a daily basis, and I’d like to thank all of them for their support this year.
“We’ve seen growth from the vast majority of our major airline customers during the year and also across almost all major market sectors. European, British and transatlantic passenger numbers have all experienced double digit growth so far this year. Transfer passenger numbers are also up strongly and have passed the one million mark, as more and more people are choosing to connect at Dublin Airport.”
A very strong November, which is traditionally one of the quieter months of the year for aviation, has also helped push the airport past its previous annual passenger record. “Last month was exceptionally busy, as the airport welcomed two million passengers in November for the first time ever,” Harrison said.
Passenger numbers in November were up 9% to just over two million, due to growth in almost all sectors of the business. European traffic, which accounted for almost half the passengers during the month, was up 9% to almost 916,000 while British traffic increased by 8% to more than 833,000. Transatlantic traffic was up 18% to almost 194,000 in November, while traffic to other destinations in Africa and the Middle East declined by just over 54,000.
The increase in passenger numbers at Dublin Airport this year has delivered additional jobs and economic activity both in Dublin and in the rest of the country. It has also helped support a record year for Irish tourism in 2016.
A 2014 economic study by InterVistas found that Dublin Airport supports 97,400 jobs – including almost 16,000 jobs on the airport campus – and is worth €6.9 billion to the Irish economy.
This Friday, December 23 is expected to be Dublin Airport’s busiest day during the Christmas season, with almost 83,000 passengers expected to pass through the airport. Friday, December 30 is expected to be the busiest day after Christmas, as passengers fly out to winter sun and skiing destinations and depart after spending the holiday season in Ireland.
Passengers using Dublin Airport this Christmas will be welcomed by more than 30 different groups, choirs and orchestras in the airport’s largest ever festive music programme. The airport’s music programme started last Friday and will continue until Christmas Eve.
Dublin Airport, which is Ireland’s key international gateway, has direct flights to over 180 destinations in 40 countries on four continents. Dublin Airport is now Europe’s fifth largest gateway to North America, and is the only major European airport with US Pre-Clearance. The Dublin-London route is the busiest air route in Europe and the second busiest international air route in in the world behind Hong Kong-Taipei. Last year, almost 4.5 million people flew between Dublin and London.