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IAA: 2013 another "tough year" for Irish aviation industry

However, Irish air traffic has returned to ‘modest growth’ in 2012, and there are signs that a more consistent growth will emerge, said the Irish Aviation Authority.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

2013 WILL BE another tough year for the aviation industry in Ireland, the Irish Aviation Authority has said.

It made the comment today as it released Irish air traffic figures for 2012, a year in which it said they returned to modest growth.


In total, there were 497,859 flights in Irish controlled airspace in 2012, which represents a 0.31 per cent increase on the flights in 2011.

There were 196,566 commercial terminal traffic movements for Dublin, Shannon and Cork in 2012, which was up 0.3 per cent on 2011. Traffic growth levels over the past five months, particularly at Dublin Airport, are promising, said the IAA.

Individually, the commercial terminal traffic figures for the three State airports were:

  • Dublin: 156,582 flights in 2012, an increase of 1.4 per cent on 2011
  • Shannon: 18,200 flights in 2012, down 5.58 per cent on 2011
  • Cork: 21,784 flights in 2012, down 1.8 per cent on 2011

There were 301,293 en route movements in 2011 (these are flights that pass through Irish airspace but do not land), up 0.3 per cent on 2011.

Flights served by the North Atlantic Communications Centre in 2012 totaled 400,480, down 0.76 per cent on 2011.

2012 proved to be a “profoundly challenging year” for the global aviation industry and the IAA said it has worked hard to reduce costs for its airlines customers. Terminal air traffic control fees were reduced by 21 per cent in 2012 and are reduced by a further 4.1 per cent in 2013.

Challenging year

Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of IAA said:

Our en route fees were reduced by 8.9 per cent in 2012 and are further reduced by 6.3 per cent in 2013. Ireland’s air traffic control charges continue to be amongst the most competitive in Europe. Our safety regulation fees have also been frozen since 2008, a position we intend to maintain through 2013.

Brennan added:

2013 will be another tough year for the aviation industry in Ireland, but there are signs that a return to more consistent growth in Ireland’s air traffic will emerge.

In the global context, IATA announced an upward revision to its industry financial outlook. For 2012, airlines are expected to return a profit of $6.7 billion.

This is expected to improve slightly to $8.4 billion in 2013. Industry net post-tax margin, however, will remain weak at 1.0 per cent in 2012 and 1.3 per cent in 2013, said the IAA.

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