Passenger numbers at Kerry Airport fell slightly in 2014, according to the regional airport’s results announced yesterday.
More than 295,000 people used the airport which has a regional connection to Dublin, along with two London connections and regular flights to Frankfurt Hahn in Germany.
Summer connections include Faro in Portugal and Alicante in Spain.
In all, 295,521 passengers travelled through Kerry airport in 2014. The numbers represented a drop of 4 per cent on the 12 months in 2013. This was largely due to airline consolidation, according to the airport.
However, the Kerry to Dublin and Dublin to Kerry regional flight, which is subsidised under the Public Service Obligation grant, saw growth of 13.5 per cent and this is regarded as crucial to the airport’s continuing.
The contract was renegotiated last year and is secure until 2018.
The numbers using the regional flights remain strong in 2015, according to an airport spokesperson.
Tourists are accounting for much of the growth in the regional usage, it is understood.
The airport recorded a profit after tax of almost €19,000, up from more than €4,100 in 2013.
Turnover was €6 million – a drop of 4 per cent on the previous year. However, administration costs were cut by some €200,000, down from €4.6 million in 2013 to €4.4 million last year, and this was achieved mainly as a result of cost efficiencies.
More than €300,000 was spent on upgrading equipment and security in 2014.
The Public Service Obligation flights are linking with six US city flights into Dublin as well as with Etihad Airlines to the Middle East and Australia, with onward baggage and other arrangements.
The chairman of Kerry Airport Denis Cregan said management were actively negotiating other connections with Kerry from the UK and from Germany.
“We are conscious of our mission to increase inward traffic to the region,” he said.
The airport is to host a 450-delegate conference from the aviation industry early next month. The airport’s annual general meeting will also be held in June.