Record as 1.2 million from North fly through Dublin in 2015
A RECORD 1.2 million passengers living in Northern Ireland used Dublin Airport last year - 37pc more than did in 2014.
Northern Ireland residents have been taking advantage of Dublin's significant route work as well as the fact there's no air passenger duty levied here any more.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), the semi-state company that controls Dublin and Cork airports, said half of those passengers who used Dublin Airport in 2015 were travelling for their main annual holiday.
An additional 24pc were travelling on a second holiday.
Business travel accounted for 11pc of the trips. The DAA said that 75pc of passengers from the North take a direct flight from Dublin to their final destination, with the remainder making an additional onward connection.
The airport operator said London Heathrow was the most popular destination last year for Northern Ireland residents using Dublin Airport.
New York's JFK, Dubai, Brussels and Paris Charles de Gaulle were also popular destinations.
The DAA noted that 67pc of all passengers who came by air to the island of Ireland last year arrived via Dublin Airport. It added that one million overseas residents travelled to and from the North via Dublin.
Northern Ireland has only one air route to the United States, with United flying from Belfast to Newark.
United had intended to cancel that service last month, but the Northern Ireland Executive agreed to about €10m in funding to keep the route going for at least the next three years.
In 2013, control over air passenger duty (APD) was devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive from London in a previous effort to ensure United retained the Belfast-Newark route, which the airline had then also considered dropping.
Dublin Airport handled just over 25 million passengers last year and is on course to handle more than 27 million this year.
It has secured a number of additional services over the past year.
Aer Lingus has just launched a route between Dublin and Hartford, Connecticut.