Dublin Air­port pas­sen­ger fig­ures set to hit 27 mil­lion af­ter surge in the first quar­ter

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS - John Mul­li­gan

PAS­SEN­GER num­bers at Dublin Air­port soared almost 18pc in the first quar­ter of the year, easily putting it on track to boost the fig­ure to more than 27 mil­lion this year.

New fig­ures from in­dus­try group Air­ports Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional (ACI) show that Dublin was also the fastest-grow­ing air­port in its cat­e­gory in Europe dur­ing March.

Dublin Air­port is now the 17 th big­gest air­port in Europe, hav­ing han­dled 5.5 mil­lion pas­sen­gers in the first quar­ter of 2016. That’s 17.5pc more than in the first three months of 2015.

It han­dled just over 25 mil­lion pas­sen­gers in 2015, which was a 15pc in­crease on the pre­vi­ous year. And with a big in­crease in ca­pac­ity and routes sched­uled for this sum­mer, it puts the air­port on tar­get for an­other bumper year.

“The mag­ni­tude of the traf­fic in­crease at many air­ports has de­fied eco­nomic grav­ity,” ac- cord­ing to ACI Europe di­rec­tor gen­eral Olivier Jankovec. “To some ex­tent, it has also flown in the face of an in­creas­ingly ad­verse geopo­lit­i­cal and se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment.”

The fig­ures from ACI came as the Ir­ish Avi­a­tion Author­ity (IAA) said yes­ter­day that air traf­fic at our three main air­ports grew by a com­bined 9pc in April com­pared to April 2015. In Dublin, air­craft move­ments were 9.4pc higher last month, with an av­er­age of 568 a day.

At Cork, air­craft move­ments were up 11.3pc, with an av­er­age of 55 daily. At Shan­non, there was a 2.3pc in­crease, with an av­er­age of 50 a day.

IAA chief ex­ec­u­tive Ea­monn Bren­nan wel­comed the growth in April’s traf­fic, and also said the choice for Ir­ish con­sumers will be ex­panded when Ire­land-based Nor­we­gian Air In­ter­na­tional (NAI) re­ceives its ap­proval to op­er­ate flights to the United States.

Mr Bren­nan said that op­po­si­tion to the car­rier is based on re­strict­ing con­sumer choice and com­pe­ti­tion. The Ir­ish In­de­pen­dent re­ported this week that US pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Bernie Sanders has ob­jected to NAI be­ing able to fly be­tween Ire­land and the United States.

The In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) said that there ap­pears to have been a “ro­bust over­all start” to 2016 for the global air­line in­dus­try.

“We es­ti­mate that air­fares fell by around 4pc in con­stant ex­change rate terms in early-2016,” it noted.

“How­ever, with oil prices up 65pc since their Jan­uary low, the big­gest stim­u­lus to de­mand from lower air­fares now ap­pears to be be­hind us,” it added in its lat­est re­port.

Cap­i­tal’s air­port is now the 17th big­gest in Europe

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