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Background Notes

Passenger arrivals up 1.4% on pre-pandemic January 2020

Online ISSN: 2811-6062
CSO statistical publication, , 11am




Overseas Travel.


This release covers overseas travel into and out of the Republic of Ireland. Cross-border travel and domestic travel within the Republic of Ireland are excluded.

Data Collection

This release is based on administrative data provided by Irish airports and passenger data provided by the sea carrier companies operating ferries to and from Ireland.


Individual figures have been rounded independently and the sum of the component items may therefore not necessarily add to the totals shown.

Reliability of Results 

As the statistics in this release are reproduced directly from administrative data they are considered reliable.


As the statistics in this release are persons arriving and departing, they are not directly comparable with the previous Overseas Travel release, which reported the number of overseas trips. In addition, the previous Overseas Travel series specifically excluded residents of Northern Ireland. No country of residence information is available for the compilation of these Air and Sea Travel statistics, so all countries of residence are necessarily included.


The statistics in this release are not fully coherent with separate Transport aviation and maritime statistical series published by the CSO. The Air and Sea Travel statistics exclude domestic air travel and flights to Northern Ireland. The Air and Sea Travel statistics also exclude commercial drivers on sea routes.


(1) Arrivals

Arrivals are all people disembarking at the airports in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Knock, Shannon or Waterford or the seaports in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Ringaskiddy or Rosslare from destinations not on the island of Ireland. Transfer passengers are included while domestic air passengers and cruise passengers are excluded.

(2) Departures

The same definition is used for departures, but refers to people embarking for destinations not on the island of Ireland.

(3) Mode

Mode refers to the method of travel – air or sea. Air refers to all people who arrive or depart by commercial airliners (excluding the crew), while sea covers arrivals or departures by commercial passenger vessels, (excluding the crew and commercial drivers).

(4) Route

For convenience, all people arriving or departing overseas are allocated to one of four entry or exit routes. These are cross-channel (Great Britain, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands), continental (other European countries), Transatlantic (North & South America, including the Caribbean) and Other (Asia, Africa, Oceania, etc.).

(5) Country

All routes are broken down into separate countries and country groupings. These refer to the country of departure for the flight or sea crossing for an arriving person, or the country of arrival for a person who departs. The country does not refer to the country of residence or country of origin or destination for the person travelling (this information was previously published in the ‘Overseas Travel’ releases). For example, a person who flies from John F Kennedy airport (United States of America) to Heathrow (Great Britain) and then to Ireland will be counted as arriving from Great Britain, as this is where their flight to Ireland originated. 

The specific country groupings are defined as follows (note that Northern Ireland is outside the scope of this release and is not included in any country grouping).

Other UK (1)

Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey

Other Europe (34)

Aland Islands, Albania, Andorra, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, North Macedonia (Republic of), Moldova (Republic of), Monaco, Montenegro, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Ukraine, Vatican City

Other transatlantic countries (1)

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Greenland, Grenada, Guadaloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint-Barthelemy, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (British), Virgin Islands (US)

Other countries (42)

All other countries not explicitly referenced in Table 3 or and of the above groupings (excluding Northern Ireland).

(6) Transfer Passengers

Transfer passengers or 'connecting passengers' are defined as those who make a stop at an airport without any particular purpose other than being en route to another destination.  Transfer passengers disembark from their aircraft and pass through the airport en route to their connecting flight.  The two flights must be booked on the same ticket for it to be considered a transfer. A transfer trip is a completed journey – for example a passenger who travels from London Gatwick to Dublin Airport and then on to New York (on the one ticket) is counted as two transfer passengers and one transfer trip.

Dublin Transfer Passengers (000's)

Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

Jan 20 28 31 35 55 79 88 108 111 5 24 95 
Feb 15 19 18 22 33 59 67 76 79 4  21   
Mar 18 20 25 30 51 85 94 126 53 2 43   
Apr 31 38 57 66 86 130 157 171 0 3 73   
May 39 54 75 89 105 144 161 179 1 4 110   
Jun 51 72 96 110 119 157 185 186 3 7 144   
Jul 43 66 96 127 121 158 199 195 9 15 158   
Aug 47 82 109 142 139 194 229 223 13 21 196   
Sep 34 50 78 102 124 158 191 194 11 20 159   
Oct 33 46 72 91 142 160 187 186 7 20 154   
Nov 34 33 42 61 84 118 136 141 4 23  106   
Dec 37 41 51 74 107 128 155 155 7 31  137   
Year 402 548 749 949 1,167 1,569 1,850 1,939  297 155 1,325 95 

Source: daa

There were 95,000 transfer passengers handled by Dublin Airport in January 2023. This compares to 24,000 in January 2022, an increase of 304%.