Irish airport passenger numbers climb; Cork falls 5pc
Shannon figures rise 18.9pc
The number of passengers travelling through Irish airports has increased for the third year in a row, but is still five million under its boomtime peak.
New Central Statistics Office figures show that almost 26.5 million people passed through Irish airports in 2014, 6.9pc higher than a year earlier.
Dublin Airport dominates air traffic, accounting for 82pc of those passengers and growing by 7.7pc to 21.7 million last year.
Its dominance has increased since 2007, when 74pc of passengers flew through the capital. This June bank holiday alone, 330,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport.
Shannon Airport saw the biggest increase in passenger numbers, which were up 18.9pc on the previous year to 1.55 million. However, this was less than half the peak of 3.5 million passengers travelling through Shannon in 2007.
The numbers travelling through Knock airport grew by 5.7pc to 703,670, while Waterford Airport saw a 17.8pc increase to 33,189 passengers and Donegal Airport grew its numbers 4.9pc to 35,415.
Cork Airport has the second highest number of passengers at 2.138 million, but its passenger total fell by 5pc last year and is over a million fewer than in 2007.
Connemara and Inishmore airports also saw dips in traffic to 19,236 and 11,491 passengers respectively.
There were 217,000 flights to and from Ireland's five main airports, and Heathrow was the most popular destination for those from Dublin, Cork and Shannon. London Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Birmingham, New York JFK and Amsterdam Schiphol were the next most popular routes from Dublin.
From Shannon, meanwhile, Heathrow was followed by Stansted, JFK, Gatwick and Newark.
More than 10.4 million passengers flew to or from the UK, while 2.5 million people flew on transatlantic flights.
Some 2.23 million people flew between Spain and Ireland.