Overseas passenger numbers rise but still at fraction of pre-pandemic levels

Overseas passenger numbers rise but still at fraction of pre-pandemic levels

CSO figures show 539,100 overseas passengers arrived and 607,600 overseas passengers departed from Ireland between January and June. File photo: Steve Parsons/PA

International travel to and from Ireland increased during June but passenger numbers remained at a fraction of arrivals and departures in previous years due to the impact of Covid-19.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 539,100 overseas passengers arrived and 607,600 overseas passengers departed from Ireland between January and June.

This compares to 3.2m arrivals and departures in the same period in 2020 and 9.3m arrivals and 9.5m departures in the same period in 2019. 

For every overseas traveller in June 2021, there were 11 in pre-pandemic June 2019, when there were 1,941,100 arrivals and 2,081,000 departures.

These figures illustrate the ongoing dramatic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on international travel, according to Gregg Patrick, CSO statistician.

The Air and Sea Travel Statistics for June 2021 show a rise in overseas travel compared to the preceding May, he added. 

In June, 160,000 overseas passengers arrived in Ireland, compared to 85,400 in May. This represents an increase of 87%. 

A further 199,100 overseas passengers also departed from Ireland in June, compared to 97,000 in May. This represents an increase of 105%. "The June 2021 statistics show that continental routes contributed most to the passenger traffic," Mr Patrick said. 

"Some 87,500 passengers arrived on continental routes and 122,600 passengers departed on continental routes. By way of contrast, 57,700 passengers arrived on cross-channel routes and 64,500 passengers departed on cross-channel routes. Just 11,000 passengers arrived on transatlantic routes and 7,700 passengers departed on these routes." 

Apart from the UK, which accounted for all cross-channel routes, the most important routing countries for overseas travel in June were Spain, with 14,500 arrivals, 18,800 departures, Poland, with 12,500 arrivals, 20,600 departures, and the Netherlands, with 10,000 arrivals, and 10,600 departures.

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