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CSO figures show a 91% drop in Irish air passenger numbers by the end of 2020

All routes in and out of Ireland saw a drop of 91% at the end of 2020.

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IN THE LAST three months of 2020 almost 372,000 airline passengers arrived in Ireland, new Central Statistics Office figures reveal.

The data showed that passengers numbers for the period fell by 91% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019 – that was a drop of more than 178,000 flights.

Despite the lockdowns and restrictions, last year 8.3 million passengers passed through the main Irish airports, a drop of 78.2% on the previous year. 

Noreen Dorgan, Assistant Principal at the CSO, said that there was also a drop in air freight movements in Irish airports.

“The figures show a significant decline in international travel during 2020. Almost 30 million, 29,760,088, fewer passengers used Irish airports in 2020 compared with 2019. This represents a fall of 78.2%.

“The number of flights fell significantly last year, with just 65.2% fewer flights taken when compared to 2019, from 273,558 flights in 2019 to 95,309 in 2020. 

“In Quarter 4 of 2020, almost 372,000 passengers travelled to Ireland and 387,000 passengers departed from Ireland. These numbers represent a fall of 91.3%, 3.9 million, and 90.9%, 3.9 million, respectively, when compared to the same period in 2019.

“The amount of air freight handled by the main airports also fell by 11.8% to 138,787 tonnes in 2020 when compared with the same period in 2019,” she said.

The stats also show a breakdown by route with most, 89.8%, arriving from Europe with Britain and Spain most popular countries.

The most popular routes outside of Europe were to or from the United States of America.

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London-Heathrow and Amsterdam-Schiphol were the most popular routes for passengers for Dublin airport in 2020.

For Cork airport, London-Heathrow and London-Stansted were the most popular routes. The top route for Shannon and Knock airports was London-Stansted, and the top route for Kerry was London-Luton in 2020.

Ireland’s main airports handled a total of 138,787 tonnes of freight in 2020, the vast majority, 93.8%, of which was international freight. This was a decrease of 11.8% in freight handled in 2020 when compared with 2019.

When seasonally adjusted, there was a decrease of 30.0% in the number of passengers that passed through the main airports in Quarter 4 of 2020 compared with Quarter 3 of 2020. 

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