Almost quarter of a million people will come and go through Dublin Airport over the bank holiday, making it the busiest weekend for international travel since before the start of the Covid-19 crisis in March last year.
The airport authority, DAA, has expressed confidence that, despite a significant increase in traffic, it will have the resources in place to manage.
It has also warned passengers that they will have a role to play in reducing any potential delays. With the weekend marking the start of the school midterm break, this may be the first time abroad for many families in a couple of years. The airport is encouraging travellers to make sure to allow sufficient time to make their flights and to be familiar with all the pandemic-related health and security requirements.
About 225,000 passengers are expected to use the airport this weekend, compared with just over 30,000 over the October bank holiday last year, when restrictions were in place. However, Kevin Cullinane, head of communications at the DAA Group, which manages both Dublin and Cork Airport, noted that it was also a 42 per cent decrease compared with the same weekend in 2019, when passenger numbers were almost 400,000.
“We have definitely seen a pick-up, and that is obviously welcome, but we are still a long way off where we were two year ago,” he said.
About 1,600 flights will arrive and depart, carrying an average of more than 56,000 passengers each day up to Monday.
Mr Cullinane said that passenger numbers had been increasing over recent weeks, which had allowed the airport officials to become familiar with managing crowds and ensuring social distancing rules and other guidelines were enforced.
He expressed optimism that the airport would have sufficient resources in place to manage the largest throughput in more than 18 months.
He said the airport would have customer care teams on duty across both terminals over the weekend to help passengers with their journey through the airport.
He urged passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours before their flight’s departure time and to ensure they have done their preparation in advance when it comes to paperwork.
He also advised passengers to go directly to the security screening areas once they have checked in to reduce the chances of delays.
Passengers travelling to EU countries will need to have their Digital Covid Certificate or a negative Covid test. They will also need to complete an electronic passenger locator form on their return to Dublin. There are also requirements particular to certain EU countries such as the need to complete a health control form in advance of travel to Spain. Specific requirements for each EU country can be found on reopen.europa.eu.