Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport declined by 78% to almost 7.4 million last year due to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
More than half of all those who travelled through the airport did so in January and February, as passenger numbers increased by 2% to 4.1 million passengers the first two months of the year.
But between March and the end of December, passenger numbers fell by 89% to 3.3 million.
In total the country’s largest airport lost 25.5 million passengers last year.
The last time that it had fewer than eight million passengers was in 1994.
In 2019, Dublin Airport had flights to more than 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by almost 50 airlines.
In April 2020, the airport had flights to just 22 destinations in 11 countries operated by seven airlines.
Traffic fell to levels not seen since 1994. In line with Irish Govt guidelines we remained open to facilitate cargo, repatriation flights & other essential travel. Passenger numbers have fallen further since last year. Daily passenger numbers are currently down by up to 98%.— Dublin Airport (@DublinAirport) February 19, 2021
The Dublin Airport Authority’s latest figures also show passenger numbers to and from continental Europe declined by 77% to four million last year.
The number of passengers travelling to and from Dublin Airport and Britain was 76% lower at 2.4 million, while transatlantic traffic declined by 84% to almost 690,000 passengers.
Passenger numbers on flights to and from other international destinations, which includes flights to the Middle East, declined by 76% to almost 237,000.
The number of people taking domestic flights declined by 68% to just under 34,000.
Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison said: “Aviation was one of the sectors of the Irish economy that was hardest hit by Covid-19, and this is reflected in the passenger numbers for last year.
“It was a hugely challenging year for Dublin Airport and for the entire Irish aviation sector, as the reduction in air travel and the introduction of travel restrictions in most markets had a very significant impact on passenger numbers during the year.”
Mr Harrison added that aviation plays a vital role in the Irish economy, and it will be a key sector in helping that economy to recover in the wake of the pandemic.
In line with Irish Government guidelines, Dublin Airport remained opened as an essential service throughout 2020.
It played a vital role in the importation of PPE and other medical equipment, facilitating the arrival of 6.2 million tonnes of equipment on 357 separate cargo flights, operated by 16 different airlines.