Dublin Airport passenger numbers reach record 3.1m in July

Brexit continues to hit airport’s UK business, figures show

Dublin Airport said July traffic grew 6 per cent on the same month last year to 3.12 million passengers, a new record for the month.

Dublin Airport said July traffic grew 6 per cent on the same month last year to 3.12 million passengers, a new record for the month.

 

A record 3.1 million passengers travelled through the Republic’s biggest airport in July but figures show Brexit is continuing to hit UK business.

Dublin Airport said on Monday that July traffic grew 6 per cent on the same month last year to 3.12 million passengers, a new record for the month.

UK traffic was flat at 896,000 passengers. Dublin said an increase in the number of Irish-based passengers travelling to Britain had compensated for a fall in in traffic coming the other way.

The figures come just weeks after Kevin Toland, chief executive of DAA, the State company that owns Dublin and Cork airports, warned that the number of British people flying here was “falling like a stone”.

Mr Toland said in July that 7 per cent fewer people flew into Dublin from Britain as the fallout from Brexit, including a weaker sterling, hit holidaymakers and other travellers.

Data released by various agencies this year shows the number of British people travelling to the Republic has been falling.

Most recently the Central Statistics Office said that British residents made 949,200 trips to the Republic in the three months from April to June, compared with more than a million during the same period last year.

British holidaymakers

The tourism industry has already warned that the continuing fallout from last year’s UK vote to leave the European Union has hit the number of British holidaymakers coming to the Republic.

All of Dublin Airport’s other markets performed strongly. Total traffic for the seven months to the end of July grew 6 per cent over the comparable period in 2016 to 16.9 million.

July was the first single month in its 77-year history that it handled more than three million travellers.

The number was also higher than the total number of passengers that travelled through there throughout all of 1986.

Travel to and from Dublin Airport’s biggest market, continental Europe, reached a new high of 1.7 million in July, an increase of 7 per cent.

Transatlantic travel grew 18 per cent to a record 404,000 passengers last month.

Dublin said that despite handling an extra 980,000 people so far this year, it has improved time performance by 2 per cent.

The airport’s managing director, Vincent Harrison, described the July results as a major milestone.

“Growing passenger numbers means additional jobs at the airport and businesses throughout the country that benefit from growing tourism and additional trade and investment,” he said.

Mr Harrison added that Dublin Airport played a significant role in Irish tourism’s record performance this year.

While DAA believes Brexit will hit both Dublin and Cork airports, there is speculation that it could mean the return of duty-free shopping for those travelling between the UK and Republic.

Mr Toland said earlier this year that this was a possibility. However, DAA does not believe that any boost it receives from the return of duty free will compensate for the likely loss of business to its airports.

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