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Air and Sea Travel Statistics

July 2020

DirectionJuly January-July
20192020Change 20192020Change
Arrivals2,225.9227.3-1,998.5-89.8% 11,565.13,414.0-8,151.1-70.5%
Departures2,183.9275.4-1,908.5-87.4% 11,692.13,448.7-8,243.4-70.5%

Overseas travel gathers pace in July

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July 2020 overseas travel to and from Ireland increased substantially compared to June as COVID-19 restrictions were eased. July 2020 saw 227,300 overseas arrivals and 275,400 overseas departures. These compare with 57,100 arrivals and 73,900 departures in the previous month, increases of 298.1% and 272.7% respectively (See Tables 2A and 2B). Nevertheless, overseas travel in July 2020 remained dramatically lower than in July 2019, when there were 2,225,900 arrivals and 2,183,900 departures, falls of 89.8% and 87.4% respectively (See Table 1).

Of the 227,300 persons arriving in Ireland in July 2020, 188,100 (82.7%) arrived by air and 39,200 (17.3%) arrived by sea. Of the 275,400 persons departing Ireland, 239,000 (86.8%) departed by air and 36,400 (13.2%) departed by sea (See Table 1).

Of those arriving in Ireland, 97,100 (42.7%) came by cross-channel routes, 114,800 (50.5%) by continental routes, 8,800 (3.9%) by transatlantic routes and 6,600 (2.9%) by other overseas routes. The corresponding figures for those departing Ireland were 82,800 (30.1%), 182,400 (66.2%), 4,600 (1.7%) and 5,600 (2.0%) respectively (See Table 1).

The most important staging countries for persons travelling overseas to Ireland were Great Britain (97,100), Spain (23,000) and France (13,200). The most important staging countries for persons travelling overseas from Ireland were Great Britain (82,800), Spain (38,500) and Poland (23,800). (See Table 1).

For the year-to-date (January-July), 3,414,000 persons arrived in Ireland from overseas and 3,448,700 persons departed. These both represent decreases of 70.5% compared to the same period in 2019 (See Table 3).

The collection of Tourism Statistics at air and sea ports was suspended in March 2020, to protect CSO enumerators and the travelling public. As a result, the details of travel to Ireland classified by country of residence, which are presented in the monthly Overseas Travel release, are not currently being collected and that release has been temporarily suspended. To help fill the data gap, the CSO is publishing this new Air and Sea Travel Statistics release which reports on the numbers of overseas travellers arriving and departing Ireland classified by travel route. The information is compiled primarily from statistics provided by the DAA, together with data from other air and sea ports. The CSO intends to continue publishing this Air and Sea Travel Statistics release for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.


Table 1: Overseas arrivals and departures by mode and route, July 2019 and 2020000's
Arrivals Departures
20192020Change 20192020Change
Air2,017.7188.1-1,829.6-90.7% 2,006.9239.0-1,767.8-88.1%
Sea208.139.2-168.9-81.2% 177.036.4-140.6-79.4%
Great Britain798.297.1-701.2-87.8% 729.782.8-646.9-88.7%
Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey5.00.0-5.0-100.0% 4.70.0-4.7-100.0%
Cross-Channel803.297.1-706.1-87.9% 734.482.8-651.6-88.7%
Belgium21.82.7-19.1-87.5% 20.42.5-17.9-87.8%
Germany126.29.8-116.4-92.2% 125.813.1-112.7-89.6%
Spain292.923.0-269.9-92.1% 295.538.5-257.0-87.0%
France160.413.2-147.2-91.8% 146.420.1-126.3-86.3%
Italy101.26.9-94.3-93.2% 98.414.7-83.7-85.1%
Netherlands70.19.4-60.7-86.6% 64.29.4-54.8-85.4%
Poland43.012.7-30.3-70.4% 46.223.8-22.4-48.5%
Portugal92.57.4-85.0-91.9% 94.611.2-83.4-88.2%
Other EU27156.724.8-131.9-84.2% 164.242.1-122.0-74.3%
EU27 Total1,064.9110.0-954.9-89.7% 1,055.5175.3-880.2-83.4%
Switzerland28.12.5-25.6-91.1% 26.32.5-23.7-90.4%
Other Europe21.42.3-19.1-89.1% 25.34.6-20.8-82.0%
Continental1,114.4114.8-999.6-89.7% 1,107.1182.4-924.7-83.5%
United States199.78.1-191.6-96.0% 227.64.1-223.5-98.2%
Other Transatlantic38.50.7-37.7-98.1% 41.30.5-40.7-98.7%
Transatlantic238.18.8-229.3-96.3% 268.84.6-264.2-98.3%
United Arab Emirates33.63.6-30.0-89.3% 33.91.1-32.8-96.8%
Other Destinations36.53.0-33.5-91.8% 39.64.5-35.1-88.6%
Other Routes70.16.6-63.5-90.6% 73.55.6-67.9-92.4%
All2,225.9227.3-1,998.5-89.8% 2,183.9275.4-1,908.5-87.4%
Table 2A: Overseas arrivals by month, mode and route, January-July 2020000's
Great Britain498.7532.6272.39.316.432.397.1
Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey1.
Other EU2790.684.543.
EU27 Total555.4522.0255.83.47.917.4110.0
Other Europe13.614.
United States92.580.954.
Other Transatlantic8.
United Arab Emirates28.524.519.
Other Destinations19.314.710.
Other Routes47.839.
Table 2B: Overseas departures by month, mode and route, January-July 2020000's
Great Britain545.7528.4257.98.818.736.882.8
Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey1.
Other EU2784.584.544.
EU27 Total510.4519.4243.07.013.931.6175.3
Other Europe11.813.
United States96.479.554.
Other Transatlantic8.
United Arab Emirates29.922.713.
Other Destinations17.413.
Other Routes47.436.422.
Table 3: Overseas arrivals and departures by mode and route, January-July 2019 and 2020000's
    January - July   
 Arrivals Departures
20192020Change 20192020Change
Air10,867.83,230.8-7,637.0-70.3% 10,990.73,250.8-7,739.9-70.4%
Sea697.3183.2-514.1-73.7% 701.4198.0-503.5-71.8%
Great Britain4,398.01,458.7-2,939.3-66.8% 4,409.61,479.2-2,930.3-66.5%
Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey19.63.6-16.1-81.8% 20.33.9-16.4-80.7%
Cross-Channel4,417.61,462.3-2,955.3-66.9% 4,429.91,483.1-2,946.7-66.5%
Belgium147.251.0-96.2-65.3% 145.751.9-93.8-64.4%
Germany738.4204.4-534.0-72.3% 736.5210.3-526.1-71.4%
Spain1,337.6321.2-1,016.4-76.0% 1,374.9307.5-1,067.4-77.6%
France726.1181.8-544.3-75.0% 738.8191.6-547.2-74.1%
Italy456.0103.9-352.1-77.2% 462.9107.4-355.5-76.8%
Netherlands432.2158.9-273.3-63.2% 432.0161.5-270.5-62.6%
Poland290.7123.3-167.4-57.6% 294.2128.7-165.5-56.3%
Portugal379.379.7-299.6-79.0% 401.378.7-322.6-80.4%
Other EU27781.9247.6-534.3-68.3% 813.0263.1-549.9-67.6%
EU27 Total5,289.61,471.9-3,817.7-72.2% 5,399.41,500.7-3,898.7-72.2%
Switzerland150.447.3-103.1-68.6% 148.047.9-100.1-67.6%
Other Europe130.438.4-92.0-70.5% 132.439.2-93.1-70.4%
Continental5,570.41,557.6-4,012.8-72.0% 5,679.81,587.8-4,091.9-72.0%
United States1,068.3242.5-825.8-77.3% 1,073.0239.2-833.8-77.7%
Other Transatlantic143.121.2-121.9-85.2% 148.223.1-125.1-84.4%
Transatlantic1,211.4263.7-947.7-78.2% 1,221.2262.3-958.9-78.5%
United Arab Emirates188.876.6-112.2-59.4% 181.867.6-114.1-62.8%
Other Destinations177.053.7-123.2-69.6% 179.547.8-131.7-73.4%
Other Routes365.8130.4-235.4-64.4% 361.2115.4-245.8-68.0%
All11,565.13,414.0-8,151.1-70.5% 11,692.13,448.7-8,243.4-70.5%

Background Notes




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 comprise all persons disembarking at Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Knock, Shannon or Waterford airports, or Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Ringaskiddy or Rosslare seaports, from international destinations (excluding Northern Ireland). Transfer passengers are included. Domestic air passengers are excluded. Cruise passengers are excluded.

(2) Departures

Departures have the same scope as arrivals except than they refer to persons embarking for international destinations.

(3) Mode

Mode is the means of travel. Only two modes are available; air and sea. Air refers to all persons who arrive or depart by commercial airliners (crew excluded). Sea refers to all persons who arrive or depart by commercial passenger vessels (crew and commercial drivers excluded).

(4) Route

For convenience, all persons 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. It is important to note that these are the countries that arriving persons immediately departed from before entering Ireland, or departing persons immediately arrive in, after leaving Ireland. They do not refer to the country of residence of arriving or departing persons (unlike previous Overseas Travel releases, where this information was published). Nor do they refer to the country of origin or destination of the persons travelling. For example, if a person flies from John F Kennedy airport (United States) to Heathrow (Great Britain) and then to Ireland, that person will be categorised as arriving from Great Britain, as this was where their flight stage to Ireland originated.

(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

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

Source: daa

In July 2020 there were 9,000 transfer passengers handled by Dublin Airport. This compares to 195,000 in July 2019, a decrease of 95.4%.

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