In what was a record-breaking year, almost 33 million travellers passed through Dublin Airport in 2019. The total for this year may be as low as 9 million, according to the DAA, the airport's operator.
Pandemic or no, there will always be flyers who need to travel for work. A small number of holidaymakers are also taking advantage of rock-bottom prices or deciding to go on previously booked trips, despite the public health advice against non-essential travel.
There may also be a bump in passenger numbers following the publication of the Government's "green list": 15 countries and territories from which travellers will not be required to self-isolate on arrival in Ireland. It includes holiday hotspots such as Greece, Italy and Malta.
But what are the risks associated with flying? What would expose you most to the risk of contracting Covid-19: the journey or the destination?
Airlines have been stressing the measures they have taken to protect their passengers. From mandatory wearing of masks to high-tech air filtration systems and enhanced cleaning procedures, they are eager to reassure wary would-be tourists that the risks associated with flying are low.
In January, a husband and wife travelled on a flight from Guangzhou to Toronto and subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. The flight had 350 people on board and lasted for 15 hours. Yet public health officials say contact tracing found no further coronavirus cases among the other passengers, despite the man in question being symptomatic and coughing throughout the flight.
This and many similar examples have led air travel experts to assert that there is little risk of widespread infection on an aeroplane. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the reasons for the apparently low rate of in-flight transmission are not known, "but could encompass a combination of the lack of face-to-face contact, and the physical barriers provided by seat backs, along with the characteristics of cabin air flow".
On a flight from the UK to Vietnam in early March, however, one passenger may have infected 14 others, 12 of whom were sitting close by. This flight is the subject of an inquiry. Little wonder that the IATA says "the state of knowledge is changing rapidly".
Planes may be full of recycled air, but that air passes through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, similar to those used in hospitals. These are capable of trapping 99.97pc of small airborne particles equivalent to the size of the coronavirus. Cabin air is fully replaced every three minutes; it also flows from ceiling to floor, further minimising particle spread.
In response to a query from Review, Aer Lingus said, "the safety and well-being of our customers is our priority at all times". It is following the guidance provided by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the airline said it has introduced measures on all flights in order to mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid-19, such as the wearing of masks and face coverings, additional cleaning and social distancing at check in, boarding gate and when boarding and disembarking the aircraft.
Ryanair has introduced similar measures, and now offers only a limited trolley service, accepts card payments only, and has made its in-flight magazine available only on its app.
As in supermarkets and shops, social distancing is now a way of life at the airport, and indeed their cavernous nature lends itself to such measures. Hygiene is naturally a top priority, and Dublin and Cork Airports have almost 1,000 hand-sanitisation points between them, and have introduced electrostatic cleaning, which ensures surfaces are completely covered in disinfectant. They have also installed 720 plexiglass screens at "close contact points" throughout both airports.
Although temperature screening is a common sight at some international airports, particularly in the Middle East and Asia, the evidence to date suggests that it is an expensive yet ineffective measure. Instead, flyers are encouraged to check their own temperature at home.
Aer Lingus says passengers are required to complete a health status declaration before they travel confirming that they have not been diagnosed with Covid-19, that they have not experienced any symptoms and that they have not been in close contact with a person who has Covid-19 in the 14-day period prior to travel.
Sam McConkey, associate professor and head of the department of international health and tropical medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, says the risks of flying can be "relatively well-managed".
"They're not huge to start with because you really are only on a plane for a little while - compared with being on holidays for two weeks, you are only on a plane for two or three hours," he tells Review.
According to the professor, mingling with holidaymakers from countries with higher infection rates in the airport itself before you board is not as big a risk as some might think.
"With a bit of hand gel, good ventilation and keeping two metres away from everybody, it's fine," he says.
Indeed, the biggest problem isn't the airport or the plane, McConkey says; it's the act of travelling itself.
"On holidays we eat, drink and be merry and we squash together with lots of other people, on Las Ramblas in Barcelona or in the bars of Corfu. Most holidays do involve social proximity to others - that's what they're about," he says.
"If I went up with a hundred other people in a jet right now and flew around Dublin for four hours and then land again, we would all be fine, but if you go to Spain and hang out there for two weeks and come back, then we won't be fine."
Someone who doesn't think we would be fine is Kingston Mills, professor of experimental immunology at Trinity College Dublin's school of biochemistry and immunology. He sees flying as a high-risk activity. Being stuck in a confined space for an extended period with tens of other people provides an ideal environment for virus transmission, he says.
"On an aeroplane you are in close proximity to other people; in other everyday activities we go to great lengths to social distance but it goes out the window when we fly," he says. "There is nothing like the two-metre social distance possible, or even one metre."
Mills also casts doubt on HEPA filters' ability to deal with the virus effectively.
"It's supposed to take out pathogens like bacteria and supposed to take out viruses, but coronaviruses are quite small so it may not catch them all," he cautions. Mills agrees there is a paucity of hard evidence when it comes to aircraft transmission, but says it is simply "common sense".
Yet McConkey believes that airlines, bruised and battered by the pandemic, are keen to protect themselves from further reputational damage.
"The whole aviation industry is built around health and safety. They understand risk, they spend their whole lives dealing with it. All the airlines are concerned about their reputation and they have a lot of smart engineers there. They have applied themselves since this outbreak began and they've been working on how to keep people safe and improve airflow on an airplane and use filters etc."
There may be technical solutions to make flying a safe activity but the risk begins to rise when you reach your destination, McConkey stresses.
"You can go to Spain on a bicycle - the problem is what happens when you get there."