Almost two million extra passengers will pass through Irish airports in 2014, thanks largely to the abolition of the air travel tax announced earlier this year.
The spike in traffic is expected to deliver a cash windfall of up to €400m to the Irish economy, but the south could miss out due to falling passenger numbers.
Figures released by Ryanair show that although Shannon (+22%) and Dublin (+7%) airports saw a surge in passengers between April and September, passengers at Cork (-4%) and Kerry (-6%) airports continue to dwindle.
The number of passengers carried by Ryanair at Cork Airport fell 7%.
However, Ryanair’s growth at both Dublin (+12%) and Shannon (+58%) outstripped the overall growth rate.
Knock Airport has also enjoyed a successful 2014 to date having seen a 20% increase in passenger numbers.
Of the 1.8m extra passengers expected to pass through the country’s five main airports in 2014, 1.2m will be carried by Ryanair, the low-fares airline claims.
Ahead of Ryanair’s H1 2014 results on November 3, Davy Stockbrokers predicted the airline’s profits would surpass its original Q2 net profit estimate of €585.4m.
Meanwhile, statistics released by the CSO yesterday show a 7.9% increase in trips to Ireland between July and September.
In total, 2.44m foreign visitors came to these shores, an increase of 179,400 on the same period in 2013.
The number of overseas trips taken by Irish travellers rose by almost 4% to 2.11m.
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