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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Aviation Statistics

Quarter 3 2021

Number of passengers handled by main Irish airports
 Quarter 3% change Q3 2019-2021 January to September% change 2020-2021
Total passengers11,597,2701,453,4393,576,734-69.2 29,512,4667,534,5604,591,845-39.1
1 Minor revisions to 2020 data

3,576,734 passengers handled by main Irish airports in Quarter 3 2021

Figure 1 Passenger numbers handled by main Irish airports, Quarter 3 2019-2021
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Air travel has been impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions. In the third quarter of 2021, 3.6 million passengers (3,576,734) passed through the five main Irish airports, an increase of 2.1 million passengers when compared with the same period in 2020 but down by 69.2% compared with Q2 2019. See tables 1A and 1B.

In the first nine months of 2021, almost 4.6 million passengers (4,591,845) travelled through the main Irish airports, a drop of 2.9 million passengers (2,942,715) and a fall of 24.9 million (24,920,621) compared with the same period in 2019.

Dublin airport accounted for 89.5% of all air passengers handled in the third quarter of 2021.

The results also show that:

  • Over 32,600 flights were handled by Ireland's five main airports in the third quarter of 2021. Dublin accounted for 87.6% of all flights (32,647) while Cork handled 4.7% of all flights (1,533). See tables 3A and 3B.
  • Amsterdam-Schiphol, London-Heathrow and Malaga were the most popular routes for passengers travelling through Dublin airport in the third quarter of 2021. The top route for Cork airport was London-Heathrow, the top route for Shannon airport was London-Stansted while London-Luton was the top route for both Kerry and Knock airports. See tables 4A to 4C.
  • In the third quarter of 2021, over nine out of every ten passengers (92.5%) 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 2021. See table 5.
  • Ireland's main airports handled a total of 39,272 tonnes of freight in the third quarter of 2021, the vast majority (92.0%) of which was international freight. See table 6.

Seasonally adjusting the Aviation data series during the COVID-19 crisis period will be challenging until the scale and shape of its impact on the time series is better understood. The initial seasonally adjusted results might be revised for some months ahead as future observations become available. Users should be aware that there is increased uncertainty around the seasonally adjusted figures during this period.