General Industry

Dublin Airport's Passenger Traffic Declined By 78% Year-On-Year In 2020

By Dave Simpson
Dublin Airport's Passenger Traffic Declined By 78% Year-On-Year In 2020

The number of people that passed through Dublin Airport declined by 78% year-on-year in 2020 to almost 7.4 million due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airport stated on its website, "More than half of all those who travelled through Dublin Airport in 2020 did so in January and February, as passenger numbers increased by 2% to 4.1 million passengers during the first two months of the year. Between March and the end of December, passenger numbers fell by 89% to 3.3 million.

"Dublin Airport lost 25.5 million passengers last year, which is equivalent to the entire population of Australia. The last time that Dublin Airport had fewer than eight million passengers in a calendar year was in 1994, which is 27 years ago.

"More than 400,000 passengers used Dublin as a hub during the year, which meant that just under seven million people either began or ended their journey at Dublin Airport during 2020.

"In line with Irish government guidelines, Dublin Airport remained opened as an essential service throughout 2020. It has played a vital role in the importation of PPE and other medical equipment, facilitating the arrival of 6.2 million tonnes of equipment on 357 separate cargo flights, operated by 16 different airlines.


"Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have fallen further since the end of last year, with January passenger numbers down by 90%. Daily passenger traffic is currently down by up to 98% compared to the same period in 2020."

Europe, UK And North America Traffic

Passenger volumes to and from continental Europe declined by 77% to four million people last year while passenger traffic to and from the UK declined by 76% to close to 2.4 million passengers, and transatlantic passenger traffic declined by 84% to close to 690,000 passengers.

Other International And Domestic Traffic

Meanwhile, passenger traffic to and from other international destinations, which includes flights to and from the Middle East, declined by 76% to close to 237,000 passengers, and the number of people who travelled on domestic routes last year declined by 68% to a little less than 34,000.

Flight Destinations

Dublin Airport's website continued, "In 2019, Dublin Airport had flights to more than 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by almost 50 airlines. In April 2020, Dublin Airport had flights to just 22 destinations in 11 countries operated by seven airlines."

Among The Most Affected European Airports

The airport's website added, "Europe's airports lost a total of 1.72 billion passengers in 2020 compared to the previous year, as passenger traffic fell by just over 70%, according to data from airports group ACI EUROPE. Global air traffic fell by 60% last year, bringing air travel totals back to 2003 levels, according to ICAO, the UN agency for civil aviation.


"Data from Eurocontrol, which co-ordinates the management of air traffic across Europe, shows that flights to and from Ireland were among the most affected by the pandemic last year. Flights to and from Irish airports fell by 63% in 2020, making Ireland the fifth worst affected country among the 41 member states within Eurocontrol. Only Armenia, Moldova, Morocco, Israel, and Georgia had larger air traffic declines than Ireland."

Managing Director Statement

Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison stated, "Aviation was one of the sectors of the Irish economy that was hardest hit by COVID-19, and this is reflected in the passenger numbers for last year. It was a hugely challenging year for Dublin Airport and for the entire Irish aviation sector, as the reduction in air travel and the introduction of travel restrictions in most markets had a very significant impact on passenger numbers during the year.

"Aviation plays a vital role in Ireland's economy, and it will be a key sector in helping that economy to recover in the wake of the pandemic.

"It has been a year like no other for Dublin Airport, for our airline customers, our commercial partners and our employees, and for the entire aviation and tourism sectors. Whether working on campus or from home, our people faced significant challenges during the year, and they did so with a professionalism and pride that is at the heart of Dublin Airport."

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