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For more information on this release:
E-mail: transport@cso.ie Noreen Dorgan +353 21 453 5260 Brendan Curtin +353 21 453 5120
For general information on CSO statistics:
information@cso.ie (+353) 21 453 5000 Visit StatCentral.ie, the portal to Ireland's official statistics On-line ISSN 2009-7581
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Aviation Statistics

Quarter 3 2018

Number of passengers handled by main Irish airports
 Quarter 3 January to September
 20172018% change201720181% change
Passengers10,524,36611,131,133+5.8 26,562,82128,106,190+5.8
1 Minor revisions to quarters 1 and 2 of 2018

Increase of 5.8% in number of passengers handled by main Irish airports in Quarter 3 2018

Figure 1: Passenger numbers handled by main Irish airports
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In the third quarter of 2018, 11.1 million passengers passed through the five main Irish airports, an increase of 5.8% over the same period in 2017. See table 1.

Passenger numbers increased in all five main airports. Dublin airport accounted for 84.7% of all air passengers in the third quarter of 2018.

In the first nine months of 2018, over 28 million passengers (28,106,190) travelled through the main Irish airports, an increase of 5.8% compared with the same period in 2017.

The results also show that:

  • Over 76,000 flights were handled by Ireland's five main airports in the third quarter of 2018. Dublin accounted for 82.5% of all flights (63,032) while Cork handled 8.2% of all flights (6,274). See table 3.
  • London- Heathrow, London-Gatwick and Amsterdam-Schiphol were the most popular routes for passengers travelling through Dublin airport in the third quarter of 2018. In Cork airport, the top three routes were London-Heathrow, London-Stansted and Malaga. The top route for Shannon was London-Heathrow, the top route for Knock was London-Stansted and the top route for Kerry was London-Luton. See tables 4A to 4E.
  • In the third quarter of 2018, more than eight out of every ten passengers (83.8%) on international flights in the five main airports were travelling to or from Europe. The two most popular countries of origin/destination were the United Kingdom and Spain. Outside of Europe, the United States of America was the most popular country of origin/destination in the third quarter of 2018. See table 5.
  • Ireland's main airports handled a total of 39,261 tonnes of freight in the third quarter of 2018, the vast majority (93.8%) of which was international freight. See table 6.
  • When seasonally adjusted, there was a quarterly decrease of 0.1% in the number of passengers that passed through the main airports in Quarter 3 of 2018 compared with Quarter 2 of 2018. See table 8.
Table 1: Number of passengers handled by main airports, Quarter 3 2016-2018
AirportQuarter 3January to September
201620172018% change 2017-2018 2016201720181% change 2017-2018
Dublin8,361,6028,893,9419,431,013+6.021,312,14022,649,27724,026,739+6.1
Cork706,690752,138773,012+2.81,751,6231,808,0871,867,273+3.3
Shannon562,727531,272561,411+5.71,327,3131,257,9961,324,649+5.3
Knock253,870244,849251,687+2.8577,306587,725604,463+2.8
Kerry104,956102,166114,010+11.6254,799259,736283,066+9.0
Total9,989,84510,524,36611,131,133+5.8 25,223,18126,562,82128,106,190+5.8
1 Minor revisions to quarters 1 and 2 of 2018
Table 2: Passenger numbers classified by arrivals and departures handled by main airports
   Number
AirportQ3 2016Q3 2017Q3 2018
Arrivals   
Cork357,346381,534391,827
Dublin4,217,7894,481,0864,755,933
Kerry52,63651,21057,245
Knock129,046122,722127,289
Shannon280,601262,580278,180
Total arrivals5,037,4185,299,1325,610,474
   
Departures   
Cork349,344370,604381,185
Dublin4,143,8134,412,8554,675,080
Kerry52,32050,95656,765
Knock124,824122,127124,398
Shannon282,126268,692283,231
Total departures4,952,4275,225,2345,520,659
   
All   
Cork706,690752,138773,012
Dublin8,361,6028,893,9419,431,013
Kerry104,956102,166114,010
Knock253,870244,849251,687
Shannon562,727531,272561,411
Total passengers9,989,84510,524,36611,131,133
Table 3: Number of flights classified by arrivals and departures handled by main airports, Quarter 3 2018
      Number
FlightsCorkDublinKerryKnockShannonTotal
Arrivals3,13731,5764719552,12738,266
Departures3,13731,4564719422,13038,136
All flights6,27463,0329421,8974,25776,402
Table 4A: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Dublin airport by number of passengers, Quarter 3 2018
   Number
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Heathrow242,800243,783486,583
London - Gatwick172,586165,048337,634
Amsterdam - Schiphol 161,841154,990316,831
Manchester121,774121,351243,125
Birmingham120,444118,915239,359
London - Stansted117,946115,257233,203
Faro107,070101,659208,729
Malaga100,43696,655197,091
Paris - Charles De Gaulle93,62991,985185,614
Edinburgh91,17487,457178,631
Table 4B: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Cork airport by number of passengers, Quarter 3 2018
   Number
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Heathrow58,46157,761116,222
London - Stansted46,88846,17793,065
Malaga28,61127,62456,235
Faro28,26526,69854,963
Amsterdam - Schiphol 20,03619,66339,699
Paris - Charles De Gaulle18,37418,69337,067
Lanzarote17,22016,85634,076
London - Gatwick16,22316,10132,324
Manchester14,10714,21428,321
Palma De Mallorca13,72812,39026,118
Table 4C: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Shannon airport by number of passengers, Quarter 3 2018
   Number
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Heathrow38,96940,15879,127
New York - John F Kennedy25,06927,70152,770
London - Stansted26,56325,82452,387
London - Gatwick16,42516,62133,046
Boston - Logan14,27415,14429,418
Newark13,33014,51127,841
Faro13,71912,46926,188
Manchester12,45312,02024,473
Philadelphia10,83412,53023,364
Malaga10,4939,90620,399
Table 4D: Top 5 arrivals and departures for Knock airport by number of passengers, Quarter 3 2018
   Number
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Stansted20,96222,02542,987
London - Luton20,18020,00540,185
London - Gatwick12,82612,30825,134
Liverpool - John Lennon10,39210,71121,103
East Midlands10,46010,40020,860
Table 4E: Top 5 arrivals and departures for Kerry airport by number of passengers, Quarter 3 2018
   Number
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Luton15,55115,45731,008
London - Stansted11,19811,11822,316
Frankfurt - Hahn9,0258,68917,714
Dublin8,0469,12717,173
Berlin4,6194,0468,665
Table 5: Number of passengers classified by country of flight stage origin and destination handled by main airports, Quarter 3 2018
ContinentCountryArrivalsDeparturesTotal
EuropeAustria20,36819,69940,067
 Belgium66,01064,121130,131
 Czech Republic25,58425,43251,016
 Denmark37,91736,45074,367
 France327,606319,736647,342
 Germany384,029373,909757,938
 Hungary30,36529,81560,180
 Italy261,615252,227513,842
 Latvia14,63214,69929,331
 Lithuania23,83123,83947,670
 Netherlands198,113189,939388,052
 Norway23,25221,79745,049
 Poland130,734128,438259,172
 Portugal216,925208,598425,523
 Spain773,104743,6291,516,733
 Sweden24,64524,91849,563
 Switzerland69,73368,201137,934
 Turkey40,29339,76380,056
 UK - England1,546,1441,530,4763,076,620
 UK - Northern Ireland0335335
 UK - Scotland187,860183,014370,874
 UK - Wales17,10116,27033,371
 UK - Other9,8329,70819,540
 Total UK1,760,9371,739,8033,500,740
 Other 271,374258,598529,972
 Total Europe4,701,0674,583,6119,284,678
   
North AmericaCanada104,385106,401210,786
USA617,744650,6391,268,383
Other1,7729032,675
Total North America723,901757,9431,481,844
   
AfricaTotal Africa16,76215,15931,921
   
AsiaUnited Arab Emirates105,365104,112209,477
Other37,65433,26870,922
Total Asia143,019137,380280,399
   
Other1Total other1,7111,6853,396
   
All continents2 5,586,4605,495,77811,082,238
1 Due to residual coding errors some passengers cannot be assigned a country of flight origin/destination.
2 This figure refers to passengers on international flights only and excludes passengers on domestic flights.
Table 6: Air freight classified by national and international traffic handled by main airports, Quarter 3 2018
     Tonnes
TrafficCorkDublinKnockShannonTotal
National freight traffic01,30701,1332,440
International freight traffic1434,49932,30436,821
All freight1435,80633,43739,261
Table 7: Air freight classified by arrivals and departures handled by main airports, Quarter 3 2018
     Tonnes
TrafficCorkDublinKnockShannonTotal
Arrivals - freight518,11131,63319,753
Departures - freight917,69501,80419,508
All freight1435,80633,43739,261
Table 8: Seasonally adjusted number of passengers handled by main airports
AirportQ3 2017Q2 2018Q3 2018% change Q2 2018-Q3 2018
Dublin7,413,1077,904,3777,898,904-0.1
Cork588,396593,715608,000+2.4
Shannon388,999429,466419,735-2.3
Knock183,664196,336187,879-4.3
Kerry80,36992,66791,959-0.8
Total passengers8,654,5359,216,5619,206,477-0.1

Background Notes

Introduction

Statistics on Aviation are collected under Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No. 91 of 2014 - Statistics (carriage of passengers, freight and mail by air) Order 2013.

The data in this release provides details on the number of passengers classified by arrivals and departures, and by reference to national and international traffic; the number of flights by arrivals and departures and information on air freight and mail (in tonnes).  The release also highlights the top routes for each of the five main airports: Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry. In 2017, the top five airports represented 99.8% of all air passengers.

Data sources

Aviation statistics are compiled from data supplied by all Irish airports. The following Irish airports provide data to the Central Statistics Office: Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Kerry, Knock, Waterford, Connemara, Donegal and Inishmore. Galway and Sligo airports ceased operations in 2011. There have been no commercial flights in Waterford Airport since June 2016. Data for the five main airports is supplied on a monthly basis. Data for regional airports is supplied annually to the Central Statistics Office.

Seasonal adjustment

Seasonal adjustment for passenger numbers is conducted using a direct seasonal adjustment approach. However, the overall passenger totals are estimated using the indirect approach, i.e. the ‘Total passengers’ is derived by adding the monthly seasonally adjusted passenger numbers for each airport. The main reason for adopting the indirect approach is to attribute the monthly and annual changes in passenger numbers to each airport. Seasonal adjustment models are developed for each airport based on unadjusted data spanning from January 2012 to the current period. These models are reviewed on an annual basis; however seasonal factors are updated each quarter.

The adjustments are completed by applying the X-13-ARIMA model, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau to the unadjusted data.  This methodology estimates seasonal factors while also taking into consideration factors that impact on the quality of the seasonal adjustment such as:

• Calendar effects, e.g. the timing of Easter,

• Outliers, temporary changes and level shifts in the series. 

For additional information on the use of X-13-ARIMA see https://www.census.gov/srd/www/winx13/

Definitions

Main airport: A main airport is defined as an airport through which in excess of 150,000 passengers fly per annum. The five main airports in Ireland are Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry.

Regional airport: A regional airport is defined as an airport through which less than 150,000 passengers fly per annum. The four regional airports in Ireland are Donegal, Waterford, Connemara and Inishmore.

Scheduled flight: The term 'scheduled' in this release, refers to a commercial air service operated according to a published timetable, or with such a regular frequency that it constitutes an easily recognisable systematic series of flights.

Non-scheduled flight: The term 'non-scheduled' in this release, refers to a commercial air service other than scheduled air service e.g. chartered or private aircraft flights.

Direct transit passengers: These are passengers who, following a short stop, continue their journey on the same aircraft with the same flight number as the flight on which they arrived. These passengers are en route to another destination and generally do not disembark from their aircraft.

Transfer passengers: Transfer passengers or ‘connecting passengers’ are defined as passengers who make a stop at an airport without any purpose other than to board another aircraft to reach another destination. Unlike transit passengers, transfer passengers disembark the aircraft and pass through the airport en route to their connecting flight.

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