Published on : Thursday, May 8, 2014
Dublin Airport is becoming a significant hub for international transfer traffic, according to Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) Chief Executive Kevin Toland.“The double digit increases we have had in transatlantic connectivity over the past two years mean that for the first time Dublin Airport is in the top tier of European airports when it comes to flights to North America,” Mr Toland said.
“Last year, Dublin Airport handled more than half a million transfer passengers and we plan to grow transfer traffic to about two million passengers per year in the near term.”Mr Toland was speaking as DAA released its financial results for 2013, which showed that overall passenger numbers at Dublin and Cork airports increased by 5% to 22.4 million last year. Despite higher passenger numbers at its Irish airports, core business profit at DAA declined by 7% to €26 million last year, due to the Group’s overseas retail business ARI completing a planned exit from Russia and Ukraine.
Dublin Airport’s transfer passengers increased by 36% last year to 548,000 and have increased by a further 30% so far this year, according to Mr Toland. “Transfer traffic is helping us grow the route network at Dublin, as these additional passengers underpin the viability of a route and encourage airlines to launch new services and add capacity on existing routes. This summer, Dublin Airport will be the seventh largest airport in Europe for services to North America, with 268 flights per week between the airport and 13 separate destinations in the United States and Canada.”
Dublin Airport has 17% more seats available to North America this summer, with new direct services to San Francisco and Toronto from Aer Lingus, a new year-round service to Toronto with Air Canada rouge and a new summer service from St John’s Newfoundland with WestJet.
Dublin has many advantages for transferring passengers from Britain and continental Europe, Mr Toland said. “Our location is perfect, we have strong transatlantic, short-haul and Middle Eastern connectivity and US preclearance provides passengers travelling to the United States with a wonderful product that allows them to arrive as domestic passengers in the States.”
Turnover at DAA declined by 6% to €501 million last year, as ARI withdrew from airport retail businesses in Russia and Ukraine. Turnover in Ireland increased by 5% during the year on a like-for-like basis, in line with the overall growth in passenger numbers. Profit after tax from DAA’s core business, which excludes property joint ventures, was relatively flat during the year, declining from €28 million to €26 million.
Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 1% to €161 million in 2013. Operating costs were reduced by 2% to €250 million, as the Group made savings on its cost base overseas. Mr Toland said that cost control would continue to be “a constant focus for the Group”.