Dublin-London is second busiest international air-route in the world
THE Dublin to London air route is the second busiest international route in the world as 3.6 million passengers jetted between the capitals last year.
That’s up almost 7pc on 2012, according to the latest figures from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Aer Lingus, Ryanair, CityJet, Flybe and British Airways are among the operators that ply the route across the Irish Sea to a number of London airports.
The busiest international route is between Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, with 4.9 million people using the route last year, although that is down 11.5pc.
In third place is Jakarta/ Singapore, which carried 3.4 million passengers.
The United States remains the largest single air market in the world, in terms of both domestic and international travel.
Overall, the world’s airlines carried 3.13bn passengers across the globe in 2013 – an increase of 5.1pc on the previous year.
Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carried the largest number of passengers of any region, at 1.01bn, followed by Europe at 826 million passengers and North America at 818.9 million.
The top five airlines were dominated by the US, including Delta, Southwest, United Airlines and American Airlines, as well as China Southern Airlines.
The data comes just weeks after Aer Lingus said Dublin Airport was mopping up business from passengers in Scotland and the north of England who want to avoid flying via Heathrow and other congested European hub airports to the US.
The airline said transfer passengers from the UK and other parts of Europe now make up almost a third of its long-haul traffic to North America.
Dublin is also now ranked 7th in Europe as a hub for transatlantic passengers ahead of much bigger airports such as Istanbul, Brussels and Gatwick, Aer Lingus said.