Jet traffic up at Dublin but down at Shannon
Published 13/11/2015 | 02:30
Commercial aircraft movements at Shannon Airport fell over 19pc last month, according to new figures released from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
But according to Shannon Airport, the drop occurred because carriers have been using bigger aircraft to service the facility, and it's actually on track to achieve overall passenger growth this year.
The Irish Aviation Authority only releases aircraft movements, not passenger numbers.
In its monthly update, the IAA said the drop in the number of commercial aircraft at Shannon compared with a 9.4pc increase at Dublin and a 1.1pc decline at Cork.
Commenting on IAA figures, a Shannon Airport spokesperson said: "Shannon Airport is continuing to perform strongly with 6pc growth achieved in passenger numbers last month compared to October 2014."
He added that the fall in commercial movements at Shannon doesn't reflect that passenger growth.
"The average aircraft size on schedule passenger services has increased with more passengers per plane," he added.
"Despite less commercial movements, higher load factors (seats filled) have resulted in an overall 5pc increase in passenger numbers year-to-date at Shannon Airport.
"Total traffic for the month of October is up 6pc and Shannon remains on track to achieve overall passenger growth in 2015."
Shannon Airport handled 1.6m passengers in 2014, with 729,000 of those flying between Shannon and Britain. It handled 373,000 transatlantic passengers.
The IAA said that there was an average of 53 daily commercial aircraft movements at Shannon in October, compared with 551 at Dublin.
At Cork, there were 54 average daily movements last month.
The authority also said that there has been an increase in the number of commercial aircraft flying through Irish airspace.
There was an average of 1,660 flights a day in October in Irish airspace, a 7.1pc increase on October 2014. The figure includes both en route aircraft that fly through Irish airspace without landing here, and those that takeoff and land in Ireland.
There were 29,104 en route traffic movements last month and 39,609 North Atlantic Communications flights (flights between Europe and North America) during October 2015. That latter figure was up 9pc year-on-year.
One of the biggest route movement increases last month was on the London City - Dublin route, which was up almost 41pc. Both British Airways and CityJet operate the route, while Flybe pulled out of the route earlier this year.
Traffic on the London Gatwick - Dublin route was 9.2pc higher. The amount of aircraft traffic between Paris Charles de Gaulle and New York flying over Ireland was 8.7pc higher.
Between New York and London Heathrow, the amount of aircraft traffic flying in Irish airspace was up 4.8pc.