Dublin Airport passenger traffic 'could fall by 1.5m'
Passenger traffic at Dublin Airport is likely to fall by up to 1.5 million this year to 19 million as the depressed economic environment continues to impact air travel. It will represent a nearly 20pc decline on the 23.5 million recorded in 2008.
The prediction was made by Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) chief executive Declan Collier yesterday, as the semi-state company that operates Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports reported a €13m loss for 2009 after it incurred €48.5m in exceptional costs, most of them related to a redundancy scheme at the group.
DAA said turnover at the group fell 13pc to €547m in 2009 as passenger numbers at the three airports declined a combined 13pc to 26.1 million.
The group profit before exceptional items was 51pc lower at €38m -- a figure Mr Collier expects to be relatively unchanged this year.
He added that passenger numbers at Dublin Airport -- which accounts for 65pc of all passenger air traffic into the island of Ireland -- had slumped 14pc in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2009, with economic factors combining with bad weather to adversely affect the figure.
The shutdown of European airspace this month due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland cost the DAA between €7m and €8m, it said yesterday. About 3,200 flights in and out of the three airports were cancelled.
According to the DAA, passenger numbers at Cork fell 15pc last year to 2.8 million, while the number of passengers who either began or ended their journey at Shannon fell 12pc, also to 2.8 million.
The DAA was mandated by the Department of Transport last month to operate the new Terminal 2 building in Dublin, which is due to open in November. Aer Lingus as now signed a memorandum of understanding to use it, while other airlines, including Air India, are interested in T2 also, Mr Collier confirmed.
Mr Collier said trial flights would use T2 from October in the run up to the opening of the new terminal in November of this year.