Dublin Airport expects to reach 70% of record passenger numbers this year

Facility handled a record 33 million passengers in the year before Covid hit

Dublin Airport expects about 70 per cent of the record 33 million passengers that passed through there in 2019 to use the facility this year, figures show.

DAA, the State company responsible for the airport, recently issued a tender document for tenants interested in the McDonald's restaurant in terminal one.

Forecasts in the document show that it expects 7.45 million passengers to fly out of the terminal this year, against 10.25 million in 2019.

That will rise to 8.4 million next year, reaching 10 million in 2025 and 10.25 million the year after.


The projections for the final two years detailed in the document are in line with DAA’s own position that air travel will recover to pre-Covid levels in 2025.

Overall, around eight million people are likely to have passed through Ireland’s biggest airport last year, when Government bans limited air travel until mid July.

Figures in the tender documents show that 3.3 million people flew out of terminal one in 2021.

Barring further severe Covid-linked disruption, DAA, which is also responsible for Cork Airport, expects Dublin’s passenger traffic to reach about 70 per cent of 2019 totals.

Dublin Airport handled a record 32.9 million passengers in 2019, when the total for the Republic’s gateways as a whole reached 38 million.

Dalton Philips, DAA chief executive, recently confirmed that 52 airlines would fly more than 200 routes to and from Dublin this year, against 190 in 2019.

However, Irish carriers Ryanair and Aer Lingus will continue to account for the bulk of Dublin's passengers.

Record number

Ryanair last month announced that it would serve a record 120 destinations from Dublin this summer, bringing the total number of aircraft based there to 33.

Aer Lingus is restoring its pre-Covid schedule, including its key transatlantic flights.

The carrier will not serve the same number of North American destinations this year as in 2019, but it plans to increase the frequency of services to several cities, meaning it will have more flights overall.

Dublin Airport is offering up to €80 million in passenger charge rebates to airlines that restore traffic there.

The sums repaid to carriers will be tied to the actual number of passengers they fly.

The Government is providing the cash as part of a scheme to aid Irish airports to restore routes and business lost as a consequence of the State’s anti-travel stance during the Covid pandemic.

DAA is putting the outlet that McDonald’s now occupies in terminal one to prospective tenants from April.

The tender documents point out that passenger number forecasts are for information only.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas