Flyers hit new record at airport
A record-breaking 29.6 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport last year, thanks in part to a surge in the number of long-haul passengers.
Passenger numbers overall grew by 6%, marking the seventh consecutive year of growth.
And while a breakdown of passenger numbers from Northern Ireland has yet to be revealed, it's understood around 1.2 million used the hub last year.
Overall, about 27.8 million passengers started or ended their journey at Dublin, while a further 1.8 million used it as a hub, according to figures released by Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
Since 2011, annual passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have increased by 58% from 18.7 million to 29.6 million. The vast bulk of the growth has occurred in the past four years with passenger traffic increasing by 47% between 2014 and 2017.
"We saw growth from all of our major airline customers during the year," said Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison.
"The continued growth at Dublin Airport is fantastic news for the Irish economy. Increased air connectivity boosts tourism, trade and foreign direct investment.
"Last year's record performance for visitor numbers across the island of Ireland was underpinned by the growth in passenger numbers at Dublin."
The daa said the growth in traffic in 2017 came from a combination of 14 new services introduced during the year, and extra capacity on 39 existing routes.
The European market delivered the largest growth in volume terms during 2017.
Passenger traffic to and from continental Europe increased by 7% to a record 15.2 million in 2017.
About 940,000 additional people took flights between Dublin and continental European destinations last year.
Traffic between Dublin and UK airports increased by 1% to just under 10 million last year, which was also a new record.
New transatlantic services operating out of Dublin last year include the Aer Lingus route to Miami, as well as Delta to Boston, and Norwegian to Stewart New York and Boston Providence.