Dublin Airport welcomes over 2 million passengers in March

Up 17% year-on-year...

Passenger numbers in Dublin Airport rose by 17% in March, when compared with the same month last year.

Over 2.1 million passengers passed through the airport last month.

The increase has been attributed to a combination of the St Patrick's Day and Easter celebrations, as well the 1916 Commemorations, which all fell within the month.

The biggest boost in traffic was across the Atlantic, with a 38% increase in the number of passengers going to and from North America.

Traffic to and from the UK and Continental Europe was also up.

Earlier this month, Dublin Airport announced that it was set to start work on a second runway.

The €320m project is scheduled for completion in 2020 and will make new routes to destinations in Asia and South America possible.

Plans for the long-awaited runway were previously abandoned due to the recession – increasing passenger numbers in recent years caused the project to be resurrected.

Dublin Airport recorded its busiest ever period last year, with 25 million passengers travelling through the airport in 2015. The DAA will create 350 new jobs due to the increase in traffic.

The Irish Aviation Authority, which manages the country’s air space and air traffic control, saw its profits rise by 13% last year to €34m.

The agency which charges airlines for landing and taking off from Irish airports and for travelling through Irish air space will pay a dividend of €7.4m to the State for 2015, a near 14% increase on the previous year.

Turning to matter maritime, the Dublin Port Company has also reported a strong 2015 showing. It paid a dividend a dividend of close to €11m to the State as profits surged during 2015.

2015 was a record year for the port as it managed the transport of 32.8 million tonnes. It is now busier than it was at the height of the Celtic Tiger, with an average of 20 ships a day arriving in the port.