Dublin airport welcomed a record 2.06 million passengers last month, boosted by an additional bank holiday weekend, the mid-term school break and the Six Nations Championship.

The figure for February 2023 was 3 per cent higher than the same month in 2019, and 1 per cent higher than the previous record of February 2020. It was also 55 per cent higher than February 2022, when travel was still being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Operator daa said that 96 per cent of passengers passed through security screening in under 20 minutes over the course of last month, with “virtually all through in under 30 minutes”.

Across daa’s two Irish operated airports (including Cork) passenger traffic totalled 2.22 million, up from 2.16 million in February 2019.

Earlier this month airport operators association ACI EUROPE published its latest figures for traffic at European airports, showing Dublin as one of the top group 1 airports in terms of the the largest percentage rise in passenger traffic in January 2023 compared with the same month in 2022 (up 113.5 per cent).

ACI: Four in ten European airports have now recovered pre-pandemic traffic volumes

Daa also provided an update on its energy targets, with Dublin airport recording a 19 per cent drop in electricity and gas consumption in Terminals and Campus buildings between October 2022 and the end of February 2023, compared with the same period between October 2019 and February 2020.

The operator said the reduction was achieved by identifying over 50 measures to reduce energy use over the winter months, ranging from dimming lighting both internally in terminals and externally on campus roads and car parks, to reducing escalators and travellators run times, and reducing the temperature in the campus buildings and terminals.

Commenting on the news daa CEO Kenny Jacobs said:

“The addition of an extra Bank Holiday weekend in February, combined with Valentine’s Day and the mid-term school break, meant February was another very busy month at Dublin Airport.

“Passenger numbers were boosted by the Six Nations rugby, which saw thousands of French fans travelling to watch their match against Ireland, while many thousands of Irish fans headed to the games in Wales and Italy.

“The busiest day at Dublin Airport was Sunday, February 12 with 96,000 passengers. The most popular destination from Dublin was London Heathrow and a total of 80 per cent of flights were on time leaving Dublin Airport.

“March is set to be another busy month and we’re expecting passenger numbers to once again be close to 2019 levels, with two more rugby internationals set to take place, either side of what will be a busy St Patrick’s Day period.”

dublinairport.com, daa.ie