How many people travel through Dublin Airport
Between 2002 and 2008, passenger numbers at Dublin Airport grew by 55%, from 15.1 million in 2002 to 23.5 million in 2008. Driven by the growth of the Celtic Tiger economy, business travel, inward tourism and a surge in demand for foreign holidays contributed to the increase in passengers. During this period, the number of routes offered from Dublin Airport grew by almost 50% while the number of airlines actually fell marginally. The busiest route operated at Dublin Airport is the London Heathrow route which is the 15th busiest route in Europe.
However, when the Celtic Tiger came to an end, so did the growth of passenger numbers with Dublin Airport suffering a 22% fall in passenger numbers from a high of 23.5 million in 2008 to 18.4 million in 2010. Coinciding with the fall in passenger numbers, the number of airlines operating from Dublin Airport fell by almost 18% with the number of routes falling by just over 14%.
Between 2010 and 2012, Dublin Airport has enjoyed growth in passenger numbers, growing from 18.4 million in 2010 to 19.1 million in 2012, or almost 4%. However, the number of airlines fell from a high in 2005 of 101 to only 55 in 2012, while the number of routes offered from the airport decreased marginally.
On 31 December 2012, Shannon Airport became a publicly owned commercial airport operating under the control of the Shannon Airport Authority plc. In light of the continuous decline of passenger numbers at Shannon Airport since 2007, this move was seen as giving Shannon Airport the power to control its own destiny and removing it from the shadow of Dublin Airport. The airport targets to treble earnings at the airport by 2017. Since the Shannon Airport Authority was setup, five new routes have been opened.
Under the control of the Dublin Airport Authority, Shannon Airport passenger numbers between 2007 and 2012 declined by 70% with each subsequent year from 2007 to 2012 seeing a decline. Part of the reason for the decline was a fall in the number of US troops travelling to and from both Afghanistan and Iraq, however the expiration of the deal between Shannon Airport and Ryanair was a major blow to the airport.
Between 2002 and 2007, passenger numbers at the airport grew significantly from 2.35 million in 2002 to 4.6 million in 2007. The current passenger numbers at the airport are at a level that was last seen almost 20 years ago.
Like Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport, Cork Airport saw passenger numbers grow steadily between 2002 and 2008. Growth of passenger numbers in this period was by over 73%, from 1.9 million in 2002 to 3.3 million in 2008.
In line with the other airports, the end of the Celtic Tiger saw a period of reducing passenger numbers. Passenger numbers fell by just over 30% in the four years to 2012, from 3.3 million in 2008 to 2.3 million in 2012. It is expected that 2013 will see Cork Airport return to a growth of passenger numbers with the advent of The Gathering, a positive fourth quarter in 2012 and new routes.
New developments expected to triple the size of the airport will begin in 2015, including the extension of the Terminal, a newly constructed cargo area, extension of the runway to allow the Boeing 747 and Airbus 380 land at the airport and an improvement in the road network.