Dublin Airport's 20-millionth passenger of year lands €3,000 prize
THERE were celebrations in Dublin Airport as the 20-millionth passenger walked through the arrival gates.
Roma Chang said she was "overwhelmed" yesterday when she was greeted by the airport's police and fire service band to the strains of 'Congratulations'.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) was also using the occasion to celebrate a year of growth, and announced a 6pc increase in passengers in 2013.
"Dublin Airport has had an excellent year in passenger number terms," DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said. "We're up almost 6pc for the year, which is our third consecutive year of passenger growth."
Ms Chang, from Co Tyrone, said it was "a fantastic way to be greeted on arrival in Dublin Airport," as she was presented with flowers, champagne, and a €3,000 holiday voucher when she disembarked from her United Airlines flight from Washington at Terminal 2.
Ms Chang is currently living in New York and working as a project manager. She was flying home for the New Year, and said she was "shocked" when she was approached by the DAA.
A record 1.8 million passengers have flown between Dublin Airport and North America this year, beating the previous peak of 1.79 million in 2008.
The success of The Gathering, as well as a surge in traffic to the Middle East and Europe, has been credited for helping growth.
The airport has announced 15 new services for the new year, including direct Aer Lingus routes to Toronto and San Francisco.
Annual passenger numbers at Dublin Airport peaked at just under 23.5 million in 2008 and fell to 18.4 million in 2010, before growing again.