Ireland West Airport recorded a nine per cent increase in passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2016 with some 123,000 passengers using the airport in the first three months of the year. The airport is on track to record the busiest year in its 30 year history, with passenger numbers set to soar to close to 750,000 this year.
Passenger numbers using the airport's nine UK services increased by seven per cent with particularly strong growth of 24 per cent on Ryanair's East Midlands service and 13 per cent on Flybe's service to Manchester. In addition services to the three London airports of Luton, Gatwick, and Stansted grew by 13 per cent, contributing to a strong three months of growth at the airport.
All of the airport's main airline partners, Flybe, Aer Lingus, and Ryanair showed an increase in passenger numbers, and more importantly strong increases in load factor during the first three months of the year. In addition new services which have recently commenced to Birmingham and Edinburgh with Flybe, will deliver an additional 60,000 seats at the airport this year. Numbers will be further boosted following the recent addition by Ryanair of 11,500 new seats on its services to Bristol, East Midlands, and London Stansted for summer 2016.
Commenting on passenger figures for the first quarter, Joe Gilmore, managing director at Ireland West Airport, said: “The first three months have proven to be a strong performing period for the airport. The growth in numbers using our UK services is most welcome and augurs well for the summer season ahead. This year sees the airport reach a significant milestone as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the official opening of the airport in May, and from a passenger number perspective its shaping up to be our busiest year on record."