Ireland’s main international gateway, seen as a key indicator for the Irish economy, saw growth across all major sectors of its business during 2014, and the airport says growth is expected to continue into this year, with 14 new services due to begin in 2015.
Long-haul traffic recorded a strong performance last year, as the number of passengers taking flights to North America and the Middle East increased by 14%, while short-haul traffic rose by 7%.
Dublin airport managing director, Vincent Harrison, explains: “Dublin Airport had a very strong year of passenger growth in 2014, adding more than 1.5 million extra passengers and outperforming the average airport growth rates across the EU.
“The growth was due to a combination of 24 new routes last year and additional flights on 34 existing services.”
Airlines such as Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Flybe, British Airways, and WestJet all added new services from Dublin last year and 11 carriers increased capacity on their existing services.
In volume terms, the British market delivered the largest growth last year, as an extra 600,000 people took flights between Dublin and British destinations in 2014.
About 570,000 additional passengers took flights between Dublin and continental European destinations last year, while transatlantic traffic increased by 14%, as more than 2.1 million people travelled on flights between Dublin and North America during 2014.
Transfer traffic also set a new record last year, with almost 750,000 passengers using Dublin Airport as a hub in 2014, which was a 37% increase on the previous year.
“Dublin Airport has established itself as a player in the transatlantic transfer market over the past couple of years and we see significant potential for further expansion this area,” according to Harrison.
“This summer, Dublin Airport will have 158 departures per week to North America, making it Europe’s sixth largest airport for transatlantic connectivity,“ he adds.
Passenger traffic to and from continental Europe, which is the biggest market segment at Dublin Airport, increased by 5% last year to 11.1 million with new routes and extra capacity on existing services.
Almost 7.8 million people travelled between Dublin and Britain by air in 2014, which was an 8% increase on the previous year.
Transatlantic passenger numbers increased by 14% to a record 2.1 million, while passenger traffic to other international destinations – mainly the Middle East and North Africa - increased by 19% to a record 643,000, and domestic passenger numbers increased by 7% to 72,000.
Dublin Airport has 14 new services in place for 2015 and will welcome new airlines such as Ethiopian, Vueling, WOW Air, and Transavia to Dublin over the coming months.
Harrison concludes: “We’re hopeful of another year of good passenger growth in 2015. We have six new continental European services for this year, three new transatlantic services, three new UK services, and two new services to Africa.
“The growing network offered from Dublin by our airline partners gives the travelling public greater choice, flexibility and convenience whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure.”
For now Dublin's all time high for traffic throughput remains 2008 when a record 23.5 million passengers passed through its facilities.