Dublin Airport Sees Surge in Passengers, Plans Expansion
Dublin Airport experienced a significant increase in passenger traffic last month, with numbers reaching almost 3 million, according to the airport operator, the Daa. This figure represents an 11% rise compared to the same month last year, despite persistent inflation. Daa CEO Kenny Jacobs announced plans to expand capacity at Dublin Airport in order to meet the growing demand. The Daa will soon submit an application to Fingal County Council to exceed the current cap of 32 million passengers. Jacobs emphasized the need to support population growth, job creation, and connectivity for Ireland. Until planning permission is granted, the Daa will manage passenger capacity through the terminals to ensure compliance with existing restrictions.
During the summer season, from June to September, Dublin Airport served a total of 12 million passengers, with around 800,000 passengers transferring or transiting through the airport. In September alone, 200,000 passengers used Dublin Airport as a hub. Cork Airport also experienced a busy September, with passenger numbers increasing by 12% compared to the previous year, reaching 260,000. This increase was partly driven by rugby fans traveling to France for the World Cup. In the coming months, Cork Airport expects further growth with the introduction of new routes, such as Barcelona, Paris Beauvais, and Fuerteventura. Additionally, the annual Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is expected to attract thousands of visitors.
The Daa recently reported that the combined passenger numbers at Dublin and Cork airports during the first six months of the year reached 17 million, compared to 13 million in the same period last year. The Daa’s turnover also increased by 55% to €459 million, largely driven by activity at Dublin Airport. Since the lifting of most pandemic restrictions at the beginning of 2022, Dublin Airport has seen a surge in eager travelers, resulting in improved security queue times, with 92% of passengers passing through security in less than 20 minutes between January and June.
Cork Airport welcomed 1.3 million passengers in the first half of the year and is on track to have its busiest year ever for international traffic, with an expected total of 2.7 million passengers. The Daa’s total operating costs, including payroll, amounted to €253 million during the same period, representing a 28% increase compared to last year. This rise is attributed to the resumption of normal airport operations post-pandemic. Ryanair recently announced a reduction in its winter 2023/2024 schedule at Dublin Airport due to rising passenger charges. However, the Daa clarified that it is not increasing charges by the reported 45% figure.
Overall, the Irish airports are experiencing a significant boost in passenger numbers, with Dublin and Cork airports playing crucial roles in supporting the country’s connectivity and economic growth. The plans for expansion at Dublin Airport are expected to further enhance its capacity and ensure a smooth travel experience for all passengers.