Dublin now in top 20 of Europe’s busiest airports
Dublin continues to be home to one of Europe's fastest-growing airports, with passenger traffic rising 15.6pc during the third quarter of the year, according to Airports Council International (ACI).
Dublin was ranked number 21 among Europe's busiest airports in September, with 2.3m passengers, ahead of other airports such as London Stansted, Vienna, Lisbon and Oslo.
Based on year-to-date data, Dublin ranks as Europe's 19th busiest airport.
The capital's airport has been enjoying a surge in passenger traffic over the past couple of years as the economy improves and new services are added to its network.
It was ranked as the fifth-fastest growing airport in terms of passenger numbers during July for its category by ACI. Dublin Airport falls into ACI's category two - airports that handle between 10 million and 25 million passengers a year.
In that category, Tel Aviv was the fastest-growing airport, with a 25.1pc increase in passenger traffic. Istanbul was second with 24.1pc, Ankara third with 19.5pc and Athens fourth with an 18.3pc increase.
During September, passenger traffic across the European airport network grew by an average of 6.3pc.
"With the exception of Russia and Norway, passenger traffic growth has been extremely dynamic over the peak summer months across Europe for all segments of the airport industry," according to Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe.
He added: "Domestic consumption is now the main driver for economic growth in Europe, on the back of continued low oil prices. This is particularly the case in the Eurozone, where GDP growth is steady - although still weak. This makes for a mostly positive scenario for passenger traffic in the months ahead."
European airlines have been enjoying a boom in business this year, with carriers including Ryanair and Aer Lingus being among the beneficiaries.
Ryanair reported knock-out second quarter results this week, but chief executive Michael O'Leary tried to dampen investor expectations by citing what he said was a "very rare" confluence of favourable events, including stronger sterling, a bad summer in northern Europe, and cheaper fuel.
Dublin Airport has been considering when it will need to start building a new parallel runway in order to meet increased demand, with traffic now back at boom time levels. Last year, it handled 21.7 million passengers.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) recently pointed out that the number of commercial take-offs and landings at Dublin Airport rose 11pc in August, with an average of 585 every day that month.
IAA chief executive Eamonn Brennan said the development of a parallel runway at Dublin is "crucial".
Dublin Airport has also been spending tens of millions of euro upgrading existing facilities. It's forking out €60m to upgrade its existing main runway and to install new runway lighting, and additional infrastructure for bigger aircraft.