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Press Statement


13 May 2020

Press Statement Air and Sea Travel Statistics March 2020

Travel to Ireland fell by 56.7% in March 2020
  • Annual drop of 831,000 (56.7%) in passengers travelling to Ireland in March 2020
  • Outward passenger numbers fell by 834,500

Go to release: Air and Sea Travel Statistics March 2020

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (13 May 2020) published a new monthly release on Air and Sea Travel Statistics. This release has been introduced to provide data on passenger numbers, in the absence of monthly tourism surveys. The CSO suspended collection of tourism surveys at air and sea ports in March, because of the COVID-19 situation. The figures in the new release are based on information provided by the airports and sea ferry operators.

Commenting on the new release, Gregg Patrick, Statistician, said:

The figures show the substantial drop in international travel during March. In March 2019, a total of 1,465,900 passengers travelled to Ireland on overseas routes. This fell to 635,000 in March 2020, a drop of 56.7%.

In the first three months of 2020, passenger numbers travelling to Ireland fell by 20.2% when compared to 2019. The number of outward passengers between January and March was 20.7% lower in 2020 than in 2019.

Today’s figures also show a breakdown by route. Cross-channel routes (almost entirely to Great Britain) were most important in terms of passenger traffic, accounting for 273,100 arrivals and 258,900 departures in March 2020. These represent declines of 55.4% and 57.1% respectively compared to the same month in 2019.

Continental routes accounted for 271,900 arrivals and 258,900 departures in March 2020, some 60% lower than in March 2019.

Spain was the most important continental country for passenger traffic, accounting for 67,600 arrivals and 50,600 departures in March 2020, declines of 50.7% and 63.4% respectively compared to March 2019. Passenger traffic to and from Italy fell by 88% versus March 2019.

There was also a major decline in passenger traffic on transatlantic routes. The United States, accounting for the great majority of transatlantic travel, provided only 54,400 arrivals and received only 54,600 departures in March 2020, declines of 59.1% and 56.8% respectively compared with March 2019.’

For further information contact:

Gregg Patrick (+353) 21 453 5202 or James Mahon (+353) 21 453 5463

or email

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