Dublin Airport one of fastest growing with 16m passengers

Airports Council International ranks it third highest climber in Europe’s tier one airports

Dublin Airport handled 2.92 million passengers in July, 9.3 per cent more than during the same month last year. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

Dublin Airport handled 2.92 million passengers in July, 9.3 per cent more than during the same month last year. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

 

Just over 16 million travellers passed through Dublin Airport in the first seven months of the year, according to independent figures confirming its position as one of the fastest growing in Europe.

Statistics published by Airports Council International (ACI) Europe show that Dublin handled 2.92 million passengers in July, 9.3 per cent more than during the same month last year.

Its expansion ranked it as the third fastest growing among Europe’s tier one airports, that is, those through which 25 million or more passengers pass every year.

Dublin joined this division – which includes London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle – in 2015 when 25 million people travelled through the airport. Only Barcelona El Prat, where numbers grew 9.6 per cent to 4.67 million and Copenhagen, where passengers increased by 9.5 per cent to 2.98 million, had stronger growth.

ACI Europe’s numbers show that 16 million passengers used Ireland’s biggest airport in the seven months to the end of July, 13 per cent more than in the same period in 2015 and indicating that it is likely to surpass last year’s total.

Cork and Shannon

The Republic’s other two State-owned airports, Cork and Shannon, also grew their business. Passenger numbers at Cork were up 8.2 per cent in the first eight months of the year at 1.3 million, while they rose 2.3 per cent to 996,764 at Shannon.

According to ACI, EU airports handled 6.8 per cent more passengers this July than they did last year, with the south of the region benefitting most: Bulgaria’s traffic was up 21.5 per cent, Portugal was up 13.5 per cent and Spain rose 11.4 per cent.

However, outside the EU, traffic was down 5.5 per cent, mainly because of sharp falls in the two biggest markets, Turkey, where terror attacks have hit numbers, and Russia.

Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe, called it a “two speed” market. “July also confirms the fact that traffic growth this year tends to be focused on secondary hubs and mid-sized airports, rather than large hubs and smaller regional airports,” he said.

“This primarily reflects the fact that low-cost airlines are the ones driving market expansion.”

Security

Meanwhile, Shannon Airport has begun trialling the first ever security screening system that complies with both EU and US safety requirements.

The system, developed by the EU-funded XP-DTE project, is being tested at the Irish airport as it is one of just two in Ireland with US pre-clearance. It means that passengers flying to the US from there will no longer have to queue at two security checkpoints.

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