Dublin Airport Among Europe’s Fastest Growing Airports in 2015

Dublin Airport Among Europe’s Fastest Growing Airports in 2015

New passenger data from airport trade organisation ACI Europe shows that Dublin Airport was one of the best performing airports in its Group 2 peer group (European airports welcoming between 10 and 25 million passengers per year). This is the only air transport report that includes all types of civil aviation passenger flights to and from Europe: full service, low cost, charter and others.

Dublin Airport had the third largest passenger increase within Group 2 for 2015 at 15.3%, behind Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (19.7%) and Athens (19.1%), but ahead of London Gatwick (12.8%) and Izmir (12.1%).

“Passenger numbers grew by 15.3% at Dublin Airport last year, making it the busiest year ever in the airport’s history as just over 25 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2015,” said Vincent Harrison, Dublin Airport Managing Director. “We are expecting passenger numbers to grow further at Dublin Airport this year with the addition of 13 new routes and services as well as and two new long-haul charter destinations.”

Dublin Airport has direct flights to 170 destinations in 38 countries on four continents and will move into the Group 1 category for airports welcoming over 25 million passengers in 2016.

Overall European passenger numbers increased by 5.2% last year, according to ACI Europe, while traffic within the EU increased by 5.6%. Aircraft movements increased by 2.2% across Europe in 2015.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI Europe, said: “2015 has been a very good year in terms of passenger traffic, with European airports welcoming an estimated 1,95 billion passengers. 20% of them achieved a double-digit increase and many broke new traffic records – mostly fueled by the continued growth of low-cost airlines and selected non-EU airlines. EU airports generally performed extremely well, despite Germany and France being impacted by airline and ATC strikes and the Paris terror attacks.

“Remarkably, Istanbul-Atatürk airport became the third busiest European airport with 61.8 million passengers, after London-Heathrow (74.9 million) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (65.7 million). It should be noted however that small regional airports across the continent underperformed the European average, with their passenger volume only increasing by +3.8%. This is indicative of traffic growth becoming more concentrated and less inclusive.

“While the EU economy did not even grow by +3% between 2008 and 2015, passenger traffic at EU airports increased by +13.6% over the same period. Such a wide gap is pointing to a lasting discontinuity in the usual relationship between GDP growth and passenger traffic performance. This is reflective of new market dynamics, changing consumer behaviours and the increased importance of air transport for the European economy.

“The positive momentum created by improving economic conditions in the Eurozone, low oil prices and loose monetary policy is likely to persist for most of 2016. This should help keep passenger traffic growing – except for Russian airports. However, downside risks abound, and they are mainly of a geopolitical nature – both homegrown and external. These range from the unprecedented migration crisis and its repercussions on Schengen to the UK Brexit, heightened terrorist threats, instability in the Middle East and North Africa, and deteriorating prospects in emerging markets.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

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