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AIR SCARE Dublin Airport passenger numbers fell by 25.5 million in 2020

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Dublkin airport

Dublkin airport

Dublkin airport

Dublin Airport lost 25.5 million passengers in 2020 due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, a mind-boggling drop of 78pc compared to 2019.  

More than half of all those who travelled through the country’s largest travel hub in 2020 did so in January and February, as passenger numbers increased by 2% to 4.1 million passengers the first two months of the year.

However, the impact of the pandemic meant that only3.3million passengers travelled through the airport between March and December.

The last time that Dublin Airport had fewer than 8 million passengers in a calendar year was in 1994, but since then it has become one of Europe’s busiest airports.

In line with Irish Government guidelines, Dublin Airport remained opened as an essential service throughout 2020. It has played a vital role in the importation of PPE and other medical equipment, facilitating the arrival of 6.2 million tonnes of equipment on 357 separate cargo flights, operated by 16 different airlines.

There isn’t much improvement in 2021 either with January passenger numbers down by 90pc. Daily passenger traffic is currently down by up to 98pc compared to the same period in 2020.

Passenger numbers to and from continental Europe declined by77pc to 4 million last year. The number of passengers travelling to and from Dublin Airport and Britain was 76pc lower at 2.4 million, while transatlantic traffic declined by 84pc to almost 690,000 passengers.

Passenger numbers on flights to and from other international destinations, which includes flights to the Middle East, declined by 76% to almost 237,000. The number of people taking domestic flights declined by 68% to just under 34,000.

“Aviation was one of the sectors of the Irish economy that was hardest hit by COVID-19, and this is reflected in the passenger numbers for last year,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.

“It was a hugely challenging year for Dublin Airport and for the entire Irish aviation sector, as the reduction in air travel and the introduction of travel restrictions in most markets had a very significant impact on passenger numbers during the year.”

In 2019, Dublin Airport had flights to more than 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by almost 50 airlines. In April 2020, Dublin Airport had flights to just 22 destinations in 11 countries operated by seven airlines.

“Aviation plays a vital role in Ireland’s economy, and it will be a key sector in helping that economy to recover in the wake of the pandemic,” according to Mr Harrison.

Europe’s airports lost a total of 1.72 billion passengers in2020 compared to the previous year, as passenger traffic fell by just over 70pc, according to data from airports group ACI EUROPE. Global air traffic fell by 60pc last year, bringing air travel totals back to 2003 levels, according to ICAO, the UN agency for civil aviation.

“It has been a year like no other for Dublin Airport, for our airline customers, our commercial partners and our employees, and for the entire aviation and tourism sectors,” Mr Harrison said. “Whether working on campus or from home, our people faced significant challenges during the year, and they did so with a professionalism and pride that is at the heart of Dublin Airport,” he added.

Dublin Airport installed more than 1,000 hand sanitising stations, over 10,000 pieces of COVID-19 safety signage and more than 620 plexiglass screens at all close contact points. Hospital grade state-of-the-art deep cleaning and disinfection regimes were introduced across the airport, with a specific focus on the areas in which passengers might dwell.

Dublin Airport 2020 Passenger Traffic

Month Passengers Change v 2019

Jan 2 million (+2%)
Feb 2 million (+2%)
Mar 1 million (-57%)
Apr 27,000 (-99%)
May 46,000 (-98%)
Jun 94,000 (-97%)
Jul 381,000 (-89%)
Aug 516,000 (-85%)
Sept 392,000 (-87%)
Oct 263,000 (-91%)
Nov 175,000 (-92%)
Dec 291,000 (-87%)

Total 7.4million (-78%)

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