Knock Airport on course for a record-breaking year
Knock Airport is set to record its busiest year ever, after July proved a record-breaking month, with over 91,000 passengers using the airport.
Additional capacity - including on Ryanair's key London routes - and new flights to Cologne, with Germanwings, and Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Kaunas in Lithuania and Glasgow with Ryanair, helped lift numbers.
Management at Ireland West Airport Knock said traveller numbers could rise to 100,000 in August, traditionally the busiest month for the airport.
So far 2014 is on track to record the busiest year in the airport's 28-year history with passenger numbers expected to reach 700,000 for the first time.
Ryanair has increased services on its Knock-London routes, including a later Friday evening flight that arrives in the west of Ireland at 7pm to meet demand from emigrants and those commuting weekly to the UK for work. July traffic between Knock and the UK was up 17pc in July compared to a year ago, an increase credited to extra capacity.
Traffic between Knock and Europe increased by 18pc, driven by new routes.
All four of the airlines using Knock - Flybe, Aer Lingus, Ryanair and Germanwings - increased passenger numbers in July, the airport reported.
The new Germanwings route to Cologne is catering largely to tourism, with 92pc of those using the route originating in Germany. Knock is benefiting from its proximity to the Wild Atlantic Way tourist trail, according to a survey of passengers that found the initiative was driving increased traffic from overseas markets.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said it recorded its busiest four days ever last week. In total 181,333 passengers flew with Etihad between Thursday and Sunday last, after the traditional Eid Al Fitr holiday. The airline's Abu Dhabi-Dublin route was the sixth busiest, the airline said.