Belfast Telegraph

Dublin Airport flying high with 13% rise in travellers

By John Mulgrew

Dublin Airport is continuing to see passenger numbers soar, with more than 13 million passing through the hub this year so far.

Passenger numbers grew by 13% in the first half of the year, buoyed by more than a dozen new links and services.

It dealt with over 1.5 million extra passengers during the first half of 2016.

And its short-haul traffic is also on the up, with UK passenger traffic up 13%, with almost 4.8 million passengers flying to and from 19 cities.

And while the airport is yet to reveal a breakdown of Northern Ireland passenger numbers for 2015, Dublin Airport saw a huge increase of 52% in numbers in 2014, rising to 864,000.

Transatlantic traffic increased by 19%, with 1.2 million passengers travelling between Dublin and the US in the first half of 2016.

However, other international traffic - which includes flights to the Middle East and Africa - fell by 1%, dropping to 365,000.

Dublin Airport added two new airlines to its portfolio this year.

They are Aegean Airlines, which launched a new service to Athens, and Cobalt, which flies into the Cypriot capital of Larnaca.

It will also see the return of Dutch airline KLM, which will begin a new service to Amsterdam.

It currently flies that route from Belfast City Airport.

Aer Lingus will also add two US long-haul connections to Newark and Hartford in Connecticut later this year.

Managing director Vincent Harrison said: "Passenger volumes are continuing to grow strongly at Dublin Airport and this is due to the addition of 15 new services to our route network.

"The outlook for the rest of the year remains positive, with 2016 on course to surpass last year, which was the busiest in the airport's history.

"Dublin Airport reached a significant milestone recently, welcoming 100,000 passengers in a single day for the first time ever," he added.

Dublin enjoyed the busiest day in its 76-year history last month. Around 100,000 passengers passed through it in 24 hours on June 24.

The new record follows its most successful year, after 25 million passengers used the airport in 2015.

It's on course to break that figure for 2016.

Passenger numbers at both Belfast airports are also on the rise, with numbers at Belfast International up by 16% during April this year to 400,000.

And more than 2.6 million people used Belfast City Airport last year.

Meanwhile, Dublin Airport's future development, including its €320m (£267m) runway plan, is to be reviewed by Fingal County Council.

Experts being hired by the council will also assess how conditions imposed on the existing planning permission for the new runway will impact its efficiency and operability.

They're also being asked to determine what the benefits would be of a runway longer than the 3.1km one that is currently being proposed.

Belfast Telegraph