Transatlantic traffic at Dublin Airport will set a new record this year with more than 1.8 million passengers expected to travel on flights between North America and Dublin during 2013.
Already this year, Dublin Airport has welcomed almost 1.3 million transatlantic passengers, which is a 14% increase on the same period in 2012. Transatlantic passenger numbers peaked at 1.75 million in 2008, during Ireland’s economic boom, but subsequently declined to just under 1.5 million in 2010.
“Transatlantic traffic is growing rapidly at Dublin Airport and the previous record for passenger numbers travelling to the United States and Canada will be comfortably exceeded this year,” said Dublin Airport Authority’s Strategy Director, Vincent Harrison.
The significant growth in transatlantic passenger numbers is due a number of factors, according to Mr Harrison. “We have a large increase in capacity this year with available seat numbers expanding due to; a new service to JFK from American Airlines, increased frequency on Boston and Chicago with Aer Lingus, a larger aircraft on the US Airways’ service to Philadelphia, and the impact of a full year of United’s Washington DC service. We’re also benefitting from The Gathering, which has given a major marketing push to Ireland in North America, and which also has been strongly supported by DAA.”
Dublin Airport is also benefitting from an increase in transfer business to the United States and Canada, as passengers from Britain and continental Europe are choosing to travel to North America via Dublin. “This transfer business is very welcome, as a steady supply of transfer passengers underpins the viability of existing long-haul services and also encourages airlines to launch new services and extra frequencies from Dublin,” Mr Harrison said.
The growth in transatlantic traffic at Dublin Airport is likely to continue next year, as the pipeline for new North American routes is already strong. “Aer Lingus will have new services to San Francisco and Toronto, and Air Canada Rouge will also be launching a new year-round service to Toronto in 2014.”
This summer, Dublin Airport had 224 flights to and from North America every week, which is the equivalent of 32 flights per day. “We have better connectivity to North America than Gatwick or Manchester airports and more transatlantic flights than many large airports in continental Europe and the extra services that we welcomed this year are helping to boost our transfer passenger numbers,” Mr Harrison said. “Dublin Airport’s range of destinations and airlines provides unrivalled choice and convenience for passengers, not just in Ireland but also overseas,” he added.
The growth in transatlantic passenger numbers over the past three years coincides with a doubling of traffic on long-haul routes from Dublin to the Middle East, as more than half a million passengers will travel on Etihad and Emirates flights to and from Dublin this year. Dublin Airport is one of Etihad’s top 10 routes while Emirates has said that its Dublin service, which began in January 2012, was one of its most successful ever route launches.
Helped by growth in long-haul traffic, total passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are up by 6% so far this year to almost 13.7 million.