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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 On-line ISSN 2009-7581
CSO statistical release, , 11am

Aviation Statistics

Quarter 4 and Year 2017

Number of passengers handled by main Irish airports
 20162017% change
Quarter 47,518,0467,876,478+4.8
January to December32,741,22734,439,299+5.2

Increase of 5.2% in number of passengers handled by main Irish airports in 2017

Aviation Statistics Q4 2017 Figure 1
go to full release

In 2017, 34.4 million passengers passed through the main Irish airports, an increase of 5.2% over the previous year. See table 1.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, almost 7.9 million passengers passed through the main Irish airports, an increase of 4.8% over the same period in 2016.

Passenger numbers increased in 2017 in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry and Knock airports, while passenger numbers decreased in Shannon, Connemara and Inishmore airports, when compared with 2016. The five main airports accounted for 99.8% of all air passenger numbers while Dublin airport accounted for 85.3% of all air passengers carried in 2017. See table 2.

The results also show that:

  • More than 254,000 flights were handled by Ireland's main airports in 2017. Dublin accounted for 83.4% of all flights (212,248), while Cork handled 7.7% of all flights (19,705). See table 5.
  • London-Heathrow and London-Gatwick were the most popular routes for passengers for Dublin airport in 2017. For Cork airport, London-Heathrow and London-Stansted were the most popular routes. 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 in 2017. See tables 6A to 6E.
  • In 2017, almost nine out of every ten (86.5%) passengers travelling on international flights in the main Irish 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 2017. See table 7.
  • Ireland's main airports handled a total of 163,956 tonnes of freight in 2017, the vast majority (94.1%) of which was international freight. This was an increase of 11.7% when compared with 2016. See table 8.
Passenger number distribution by airport, 2017
Dublin85.3
Cork6.7
Shannon4.6
Knock2.2
Kerry1.0
Other0.2
Passenger number distribution by airport, 2013
Dublin81.3
Cork9.1
Shannon5.3
Knock2.7
Kerry1.2
Other0.4
Table 1: Number of passengers handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2015-2017
AirportQuarter 4January to December
201520162017% change 2016-2017 201520162017% change 2016-2017
Dublin5,867,1996,466,7486,805,197+5.224,962,51827,778,88829,454,474+6.0
Cork452,194474,610493,363+4.02,065,6782,226,2332,301,450+3.4
Shannon345,808347,254341,394-1.71,642,8881,674,5671,599,390-4.5
Knock144,910158,563160,780+1.4684,671735,869748,505+1.7
Kerry68,24170,87175,744+6.9303,039325,670335,480+3.0
Total6,878,3527,518,0467,876,478+4.8 29,658,79432,741,22734,439,299+5.2
Table 2: Total passenger numbers handled by all airports, 2013 - 2017
Airport20132014201520162017% change 2016-2017
Dublin20,148,57421,694,89324,962,51827,778,88829,454,474+6.0
Cork2,252,6362,138,0572,065,6782,226,2332,301,450+3.4
Shannon1,308,2421,555,2251,642,8881,674,5671,599,390-4.5
Knock665,558703,670684,671735,869748,505+1.7
Kerry306,042294,955303,039325,670335,480+3.0
Donegal33,76835,41536,55244,15646,514+5.3
Connemara20,35419,23619,75321,34516,437-23.0
Inishmore12,39311,49112,07112,6679,335-26.3
Waterford128,16833,18934,24913,5110-
Total24,775,73526,486,13129,761,41932,832,90634,511,585+5.1
1 No commercial flights since June 2016 from Waterford airport
Table 3: Passenger numbers by month handled by main airports, 2017
MonthCorkDublinKerryKnockShannonTotal
January132,1621,844,91718,14638,96888,4102,122,603
February132,1331,781,44017,77142,11782,2252,055,686
March154,1632,168,92123,11753,136101,1182,500,455
April182,0702,479,28231,18669,555123,1922,885,285
May206,1112,594,07132,51465,881149,5093,048,086
June249,3102,886,70534,83673,219182,2703,426,340
July273,2473,109,83136,47588,007193,4383,700,998
August268,9883,059,47435,31488,807181,8783,634,461
September209,9032,724,63630,37768,035155,9563,188,907
October197,0272,580,33729,02463,682137,0183,007,088
November151,1302,124,51123,54548,810105,6372,453,633
December145,2062,100,34923,17548,28898,7392,415,757
Total2,301,45029,454,474335,480748,5051,599,39034,439,299
Table 4: Passenger numbers classified by arrivals and departures handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2015-2017
 Quarter 4January to December
 201520162017 201520162017
Arrivals   
Cork228,975239,299248,8261,028,3941,109,0671,148,709
Dublin2,932,1103,223,3613,396,68812,466,80613,862,17714,710,843
Kerry34,42335,52537,690152,589161,782166,207
Knock73,92279,82681,472339,152365,585370,695
Shannon176,700173,173170,361823,087831,481791,501
Total arrivals3,446,1303,751,1843,935,03714,810,02816,330,09217,187,955
       
Departures       
Cork223,219235,311244,5371,037,2841,117,1661,152,741
Dublin2,935,0893,243,3873,408,50912,495,71213,916,71114,743,631
Kerry33,81835,34638,054150,450163,888169,273
Knock70,98878,73779,308345,519370,284377,810
Shannon169,108174,081171,033819,801843,086807,889
Total departures3,432,2223,766,8623,941,44114,848,76616,411,13517,251,344
       
All       
Cork452,194474,610493,3632,065,6782,226,2332,301,450
Dublin5,867,1996,466,7486,805,19724,962,51827,778,88829,454,474
Kerry68,24170,87175,744303,039325,670335,480
Knock144,910158,563160,780684,671735,869748,505
Shannon345,808347,254341,394 1,642,8881,674,5671,599,390
Total passengers6,878,3527,518,0467,876,478 29,658,79432,741,22734,439,299
Table 5: Number of flights classified by arrivals and departures handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
 Quarter 4 January to December
Arrivals
Cork2,204 9,850
Dublin25,197 106,282
Kerry378 1,601
Knock661 3,002
Shannon1,504 6,617
Total arrivals29,944 127,352
   
Departures   
Cork2,206 9,855
Dublin25,092 105,966
Kerry378 1,599
Knock658 2,987
Shannon1,533 6,612
Total departures29,867 127,019
   
All   
Cork4,410 19,705
Dublin50,289 212,248
Kerry756 3,200
Knock1,319 5,989
Shannon3,037 13,229
Total flights59,811 254,371
Table 6A: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Dublin airport by number of passengers, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
Quarter 4January to December
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal  ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Heathrow212,171216,020428,191London - Heathrow889,063914,9571,804,020
London - Gatwick180,800169,017349,817London - Gatwick697,419670,1741,367,593
Amsterdam - Schiphol 141,477141,378282,855Amsterdam - Schiphol 543,994543,3301,087,324
Manchester124,895124,529249,424Manchester487,363492,262979,625
Birmingham113,657111,795225,452Birmingham455,777456,272912,049
London - Stansted114,378109,399223,777London - Stansted450,440440,789891,229
Paris - Charles De Gaulle88,39389,654178,047Paris - Charles De Gaulle357,343356,596713,939
New York - John F Kennedy72,99574,240147,235Edinburgh313,544304,883618,427
Edinburgh74,30270,997145,299New York - John F Kennedy295,869299,876595,745
London City61,21462,338123,552 Barcelona285,872285,459571,331
Table 6B: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Cork airport by number of passengers, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
Quarter 4January to December
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal  ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Heathrow46,17747,24193,418London - Heathrow198,212203,103401,315
London - Stansted43,58341,99585,578London - Stansted178,132174,869353,001
Amsterdam - Schiphol 20,24921,34641,595Amsterdam - Schiphol 83,23184,915168,146
London - Gatwick16,04915,00231,051Malaga68,47068,688137,158
Malaga13,60912,64626,255London - Gatwick63,77061,815125,585
Manchester12,87113,01725,888Faro57,19857,412114,610
Lanzarote10,95710,99921,956Lanzarote53,12852,758105,886
Paris - Charles De Gaulle10,65410,60721,261Manchester52,05853,484105,542
Liverpool - John Lennon10,1539,47919,632Paris - Charles De Gaulle45,08945,53190,620
Birmingham9,2979,56218,859 Birmingham37,90039,64577,545
Table 6C: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Shannon airport by number of passengers, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
Quarter 4January to December
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal  ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Heathrow31,06533,81164,876London - Heathrow130,199141,004271,203
London - Stansted26,30823,39549,703London - Stansted102,32396,494198,817
London - Gatwick13,86513,25827,123New York - John F Kennedy62,38868,274130,662
New York - John F Kennedy12,18414,05826,242London - Gatwick58,62658,155116,781
Boston - Logan11,23611,19022,426Boston - Logan46,76047,38494,144
Manchester9,7629,68319,445Newark39,08341,89680,979
Newark6,0377,12613,163Manchester36,70436,96373,667
Malaga6,2855,95412,239Malaga33,03533,01466,049
Warsaw Modlin4,6524,9609,612Faro27,78927,06254,851
Lanzarote4,7154,8069,521 Lanzarote21,61721,78243,399
Table 6D: Top 10 arrivals and departures for Knock airport by number of passengers, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
Quarter 4January to December
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal  ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Stansted19,06519,50838,573London - Stansted76,90181,953158,854
London - Luton14,67414,11328,787London - Luton63,94566,173130,118
Liverpool - John Lennon11,13711,04422,181Liverpool - John Lennon41,88643,53085,416
London - Gatwick9,4988,96818,466London - Gatwick39,65738,67278,329
East Midlands8,1868,01816,204East Midlands37,76035,47573,235
Manchester3,8453,6897,534Faro16,84517,46734,312
Birmingham3,4773,2786,755Manchester14,81014,77629,586
Edinburgh2,8712,7685,639Birmingham14,53114,98029,511
Faro2,8772,3725,249Bristol13,89213,78827,680
Lanzarote2,1262,2344,360 Edinburgh12,50612,37824,884
Table 6E: Top 5 arrivals and departures for Kerry airport by number of passengers, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
Quarter 4January to December
 ArrivalsDeparturesTotal  ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
London - Luton13,40912,92526,334London - Luton56,03755,676111,713
London - Stansted8,9968,92617,922London - Stansted38,64439,31977,963
Dublin5,7636,30612,069Frankfurt -Hahn27,63327,11254,745
Frankfurt -Hahn4,9045,19210,096Dublin24,34126,94351,284
Berlin - Schönefeld2,6762,9625,638 Alicante10,50610,86021,366
Table 7: Number of passengers classified by country of flight stage origin and destination handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
ContinentCountryQuarter 4January to December
ArrivalsDeparturesTotal ArrivalsDeparturesTotal
EuropeAustria13,42914,99028,41968,75668,286137,042
 Belgium63,75763,663127,420253,119250,994504,113
 Czech Republic25,48126,97852,45998,849101,731200,580
 Denmark38,15838,38476,542146,309144,968291,277
 France193,703194,011387,714962,510961,1281,923,638
 Germany254,082268,444522,5261,062,6361,070,5422,133,178
 Hungary29,44129,85459,295118,797116,456235,253
 Italy132,535129,776262,311681,296682,1121,363,408
 Latvia14,49114,87329,36457,31958,451115,770
 Lithuania22,50823,23145,73986,60188,544175,145
 Netherlands175,910177,197353,107687,521687,5461,375,067
 Norway17,18818,32335,51174,52774,554149,081
 Poland121,405127,634249,039508,056506,7941,014,850
 Portugal93,98886,992180,980544,840547,9741,092,814
 Spain399,598387,253786,8512,077,3612,077,1024,154,463
 Sweden20,01919,31439,33375,94275,754151,696
 Switzerland40,19642,25182,447192,621197,479390,100
 Turkey21,97122,30844,27996,328100,962197,290
 UK - England1,413,0091,391,2152,804,2245,670,8665,694,73711,365,603
 UK - Northern Ireland481058518371889
 UK - Scotland158,582153,315311,897655,540648,0321,303,572
 UK - Wales15,22015,08130,30157,76058,210115,970
 UK - Other5,4415,31510,75629,76429,55459,318
 Total UK1,592,3001,564,9363,157,2366,414,4486,430,90412,845,352
 Other 125,568120,465246,033605,244598,9171,204,161
 Total Europe3,395,7283,370,8776,766,60514,813,08014,841,19829,654,278
      
North AmericaCanada36,05939,81475,873202,301212,994415,295
USA382,049397,085779,1341,650,9601,677,4413,328,401
Other0002,9342,6565,590
Total North America418,108436,899855,0071,856,1951,893,0913,749,286
      
AfricaTotal Africa10,78611,06921,85546,13543,51889,653
      
AsiaUnited Arab Emirates81,77292,508174,280363,392363,758727,150
Other11,80612,76924,57531,83431,17163,005
Total Asia93,578105,277198,855395,226394,929790,155
      
Other1Total other03263266,4087,07313,481
      
All continents2 3,918,2003,924,4487,842,648 17,117,04417,179,80934,296,853
1 Due to residual coding errors some passengers cannot be assigned a country of flight origin/destination.
2 This figure refers to international passengers only and excludes domestic passenger numbers.
Table 8: Air freight classified by national and international traffic handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
   Tonnes
 Quarter 4 January to December
National freight traffic
Cork0 0
Dublin1,389 4,991
Kerry0 0
Knock0 0
Shannon1,223 4,737
Total national freight2,612 9,728
   
International freight traffic   
Cork5 28
Dublin39,437 139,922
Kerry0 0
Knock4 16
Shannon8,163 14,261
Total international freight47,608 154,227
   
All   
Cork5 28
Dublin40,826 144,913
Kerry0 0
Knock4 16
Shannon9,386 18,998
Total freight50,220 163,956
Table 9: Air freight classified by arrivals and departures handled by main airports, Quarter 4 and Year 2017
   Tonnes
 Quarter 4 January to December
Arrival   
Cork4 21
Dublin20,568 73,839
Kerry0 0
Knock4 16
Shannon2,698 7,636
Total arrivals - freight23,273 81,513
   
Departure   
Cork1 7
Dublin20,258 71,074
Kerry0 0
Knock0 0
Shannon6,688 11,362
Total departures - freight26,948 82,443
   
All   
Cork5 28
Dublin40,826 144,913
Kerry0 0
Knock4 16
Shannon9,386 18,998
Total freight50,220 163,956

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.

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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