Irish air traffic ends 2014 in positive territory

The total number of flights travelling through Irish airspace grew by 2.7 per cent during 2014, marking a strong return to positive territory for almost all sectors of Irish air traffic.

Ireland’s en route traffic (flights that pass though Irish airspace but don’t land) increased by 1.0 per cent to 301,331 movements, while North Atlantic Communications flights (Europe/North America Flights) increased by 3.8 per cent to 420,423.

On the domestic front, commercial traffic grew by 6.5 per cent in 2014 at the three State airports of Dublin, Shannon and Cork, with a total of 215,783 movements (with 81per cent of the volume at Dublin airport).

Focusing on December 2014, Dublin airport surged forward, recording growth of 13.4 per cent in commercial movements against the same month in 2013, whilst Shannon grew by 8.5per cent. Terminal traffic at the State airports combined in December was up 10.7 per cent, when compared to the same month last year.

There was an increase of 3.7 per cent in Ireland’s en route traffic movements during December 2014 and the IAA’s North Atlantic Communications flights saw an increase of 2.3per cent.

There was an average of 1,251 daily flights during December 2014, with the busiest day being 5 December with 1,503 flights in Irish airspace.

Eamonn Brennan, chief executive of the IAA said: “The sustained growth in Irish air traffic is very welcome. Air traffic growth at Dublin and Shannon airports is being driven by the introduction of new routes by both low cost carriers and transatlantic operators. We also saw robust growth in 2014 in our North Atlantic Communications business for flights transiting between Europe and North America.

2014 has ended well and the future is bright for 2015. We’ll see increased transatlantic capacity and new routes from Aer Lingus, Ryanair up about 10 per cent, a new service linking Addis Ababa / Dublin / Los Angeles (served by Ethiopian Airlines), and the arrival of Vueling (IAG’s low cost airline) between Barcelona and Dublin to name but a few. These are all positive signs of confidence in the domestic and international economies.

As the economy grows, IAA said it will continue to support the airlines, the airports and the travelling public through the provision of safe, cost-efficient, and industry leading air traffic services in the years ahead.

Looking wider, in their review of the financial health of the global aviation industry for 2014, international airline industry organisation IATA announced in December an overall improvement in industry profitability for the year, with airlines expected to post a collective global net profit in 2014 of some US$19.9 billion (up from the US$18 billion projected in June).

It predicted that this figure is likely to rise to US$25 billion in 2015 with lower oil prices and a stronger worldwide GDP growth being the main drivers behind this improvement.

The IAA’s monthly analysis of delays from Air Traffic Flow Regulations, indicates that 215 aircraft were delayed from January to December 2014 by a total of 4,335 minutes. Of these delays 88 per cent were weather related (with 12 per cent attributable to one incident recorded in October).  Ireland has traditionally one of the lowest levels of en route and airport delays due to Air Traffic Flow Regulation delays in Europe and the IAA said it continues to proactively manage these delays to ensure they remain at a low level.

Click here for more detailed statistics.

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