Passengers rise 2pc at Dublin Airport as long-haul flights soar
The number of passengers using Dublin Airport rose 2pc last year, hitting 19.1 million. That's the highest level since 2009 and follows a 2pc rise also recorded in 2011.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said that the growth in numbers was underpinned by a rise in long-haul passenger traffic, which was 16pc higher in 2012. Short-haul passenger figures were also up 1pc.
Dublin Airport's Terminal 1 handled 10.3 million of last year's passengers, while T2 handled 8.8 million.
Total traffic at Dublin, Cork and Shannon rose 1pc last year to 22.8 million.
Shannon is no longer part of the DAA, having been hived off as a separate entity at the end of last year.
Passenger traffic at Dublin hit a peak of about 23 million in 2008 and slumped 13pc in 2009 to 20.5 million. It fell again to 18.4 million in 2010, before rising again.
The semi-state firm said that it was paying a €1.5m rebate in airport charges to 25 airlines that boosted their business at Dublin Airport in 2012.
The DAA said that it has now returned €3m to airlines under its growth incentive scheme. There were 15 new routes or services launched from Dublin last year.
While international traffic rose, domestic travel has continued its terminal decline.
Just 63,000 passengers took internal flights to or from Dublin last year – half the number who did in 2011.
Ryanair has offered what chief executive Michael O'Leary has described as "radical" remedies designed to appease competition concerns if it is allowed to take over its smaller rival. That would include offloading Aer Lingus slots in Heathrow.
But the EU's competition watchdog has already indicated it has misgivings about the proposals. Ryanair has until the end of this month to improve the package of proposed remedies before a final decision is made.
The Government has already indicated it won't sell its 25.1pc stake in Aer Lingus to Ryanair.