Regional Airports See Increase in Passengers While Dublin Lags Behind
Passenger numbers at regional airports in Ireland have seen a significant increase when compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest Travel Bulletin released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday. In April 2023, Shannon Airport saw a 33% increase in passenger numbers compared to the same month in 2019. Cork Airport also saw an increase of 19%, while Kerry Airport experienced a 27% rise in passenger numbers. However, Dublin Airport only saw a 1% increase in passenger numbers last month, compared to April 2019.
Over the first four months of the year, Dublin Airport saw 9,401,269 passengers pass through its doors, which is only a 1% increase on pre-pandemic figures. When compared to April 2022, passenger numbers through Shannon Airport were 39% higher, in Cork numbers were up 30%, and passenger numbers were up by 21% through Kerry Airport. While last month’s numbers through Dublin Airport remain close to pre-pandemic levels, there was a 21% increase in the number of passengers travelling through the airport last month when compared to April 2022.
It is worth noting that data for Knock airport was not available at the time of publication as the airport was closed from April to June 2020 and from February to May 2021.
In addition to the increase in regional airport passenger numbers, the latest Transport Bulletin also shows an uptick in public transport journeys last month. The number of bus journeys outside of Dublin in the week beginning 24 April 2023 exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 47%, while the number of bus journeys within the capital was up 31%. Luas journeys also increased by 14% for the week beginning 24 April 2023, when compared to the same week in 2019.
Private cars also saw an increase in usage, with the number of new vehicles registered last month (11,277) up by 12% on the same time last year. The number of used cars licensed last month (4,145) was up by 10%.
Furthermore, clearances of autodiesel for March 2023, at 313 million litres, was the highest volume of autodiesel recorded for the month of March since records began in 2000. Meanwhile, clearances of petrol in March were 6% higher than the same month last year, but at 83 million litres petrol clearances were still 5% lower than March 2019.
The increase in regional airport passenger numbers suggests that people are opting for domestic travel due to ongoing international travel restrictions. The Irish government has recently announced plans to ease restrictions on international travel, which may lead to an increase in passenger numbers at Dublin Airport in the coming months. However, it remains to be seen whether this will have a significant impact on the overall number of passengers passing through Irish airports.