Dublin Airport hits record as long-haul flights soar
A record-breaking 29.6 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport last year, thanks in part to a surge in the number of long-haul passengers.
Passenger numbers overall grew by 6pc, marking the seventh consecutive year of growth.
About 27.8 million passengers started or ended their journey at Dublin, while a further 1.8 million used it as a hub, according to figures released by the DAA yesterday.
Since 2011, annual passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have increased by 58pc from 18.7 million to 29.6 million.
The vast bulk of the growth has occurred in the past four years with passenger traffic increasing by 47pc between 2014 and 2017.
"We saw growth from all of our major airline customers during the year," said Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison.
"The continued growth at Dublin Airport is fantastic news for the Irish economy. Increased air connectivity boosts tourism, trade and foreign direct investment.
"Last year's record performance for visitor numbers across the island of Ireland was underpinned by the growth in passenger numbers at Dublin."
DAA said the growth in traffic in 2017 came from a combination of 14 new services introduced during the year, and extra capacity on 39 existing routes.
The European market delivered the largest growth in volume terms during 2017.
Passenger traffic to and from continental Europe increased by 7pc to a record 15.2 million in 2017. About 940,000 additional people took flights between Dublin and continental European destinations last year.
Traffic between Dublin and British airports increased by 1pc to just under 10 million last year, which was also a new record.
New transatlantic services operating out of Dublin last year include the Aer Lingus route to Miami, as well as Delta to Boston, and Norwegian to Stewart New York and Boston Providence.
There was also increased capacity on flights to and from Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto and Washington DC.
"Dublin Airport is now a significant player in the transatlantic market and we saw strong growth in both point-to-point and connecting traffic to and from North America during 2017," Mr Harrison said.
"We're expecting further transatlantic growth this year with new Aer Lingus routes to Philadelphia and Seattle, a new Air Canada service to Montreal, and expansions to some existing North American routes."