Surging passenger number at Irish airports as air travel rebounds

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More than three million passengers travelled through Irish airports in May, an over 18-fold increase year-on-year, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in Dublin said.

This includes slightly over 1.5 million international arrivals and nearly 1.5 million overseas departures, said the CSO, adding that only 155,600 passengers travelled through Irish airports in May 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

The explosive growth of air travel in the country has put enormous strain on its airports, especially on its largest airport in Dublin, which annually handles over 80 per cent of the country’s total air traffic both in terms of passengers and freight.

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said in a recently released statement that just over 2.6 million passengers travelled in May, an increase of 2.4 million passengers when compared with May 2021.

Last month, over 1,400 passengers missed their flights due to long queues at the check-in and security points of the airport, DAA later confirmed, adding that they have hired and trained extra staff to tackle the problem.

DAA laid off hundreds of employees due to the drastic fall in passenger numbers during the first two years of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, the Irish government agreed to a request from Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan that the army should be put on standby to help with security at Dublin Airport this summer, reported Irish national radio and television broadcaster RTE.

Despite the rapid recovery of air traffic in recent months, the number of passengers handled by Irish airports is still 13 per cent lower than the pre-pandemic level in May 2019, when more than 3.45 million passengers travelled through Irish airports, said Gregg Patrick, a statistician with the CSO.

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