Passenger numbers at Kerry Airport grew by 9 per cent in 2018, according to the airport’s annual report and accounts released today.
The airport which recently became the helicopter base for oil and gas exploration rigs moving into the Porcupine Basin in Kerry celebrates fifty years in August.
Total passenger numbers grew to 365,339 compared with 335,480 in the previous year, an increase of 9%.
The subsidised and “critically important” Aer Lingus Kerry-Dublin route, operated by Stobart Air recorded growth of 12% and an average PLF (Passenger Load Factor) of close to 60% for the year supported by the new higher capacity 70-seat aircraft.
Operating Profit after Taxation for the period of €966,056, compared to €728,626 in the previous year.
Car parking income at almost €400,000 brought in more revenue than the €388,300 gift shop sales, the figures for the year show.
Turnover increased from €6.34m to €7.9m reflecting increased passenger related revenues for the year mainly accounted for within increased Fuel Sales – in both litres and monetary terms.
€1.914m spent on Capital projects during the year on areas of Taxiway resurfacing, Navigation Aids upgrades and additional Airside Equipment with the support of funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport.
The restaurant area has also been done up.
The Ryanair London-Luton also performed well but the long-established German route to Frankfurt-Hahn experienced a small drop in its numbers. A second German link set up in 2018 the Ryanair Kerry-Berlin service also performed well in 2018 on its twice-weekly service recording 32,518 passengers handled in the first full year of operation.
The now annual sun holiday routes to Alicante in Spain and Faro in Portugal continue to be popular and the airport is eyeing up more sun destinations.
Commenting on the results Airport Chairman Denis Cregan said the results for the year 2018 were satisfactory.
Increased daily capacity on the Kerry-Dublin service by the Airline (Stobart Air under the Aer Lingus Regional branding) with the larger ATR-72 aircraft, together with growth on this route of 12%, was a positive development for the Region going forward under the new PSO contract 2018-2022.
“This twice-daily flight is of critical importance to the Region and with fares as low as €44 each way - we hope this product will continue to get the support it deserves,” Mr Cregan said.
Earlier this year Sammy Haress a representative of the bin Mahfouz family, the Saudi Arabian billionaire banker family, and a major shareholder in Kerry Airport since the 1990s was appointed to the board. The agm will be in June.