ROUTES ASIA: Dublin Set For Record Transatlantic Traffic In 2014

Dublin Airport is set for another record-breaking year for transatlantic traffic in 2014, according to Daragh Hanratty, DAA’s Airline Business Development Manager.  Speaking to The HUB Daily on the sidelines of this year's Routes Asia forum in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Hanratty noted that 2013 had been a record year for transatlantic passengers at Dublin, as 1.9 million people took flights across the Atlantic, which was a 13 per cent increase on 2012 and new air service would be sure to boost 2014 numbers.

“We’re confident that 2014 will set another all-time record for transatlantic traffic at Dublin as we have with new routes to San Francisco, Toronto and St John’s, Newfoundland,” he said.  The launch of these new long-haul routes, coupled with additional capacity on existing transatlantic services, will deliver a 17 per cent increase in Dublin Airport’s North American capacity in 2014, as extra 320,000 seats will be available this year, he estimated.

One of Dublin’s unique selling points for transatlantic traffic is that fact that it is one of only two airports in Europe to provide US pre-clearance facilities.  This summer US Customs & Border Protection will pre-clear all US-bound flights from Dublin Airport to the United States.

“By availing of US pre-clearance at Dublin, passengers arrive in the United States as a domestic traveller, making connections and onward travel easier and facilitating a much smoother entry into the US,” Hanratty said.

During the peak summer months this year, 268 flights will operate each week from Dublin to/from North America, which is an average of 38 flights per day.  A total of 220 flights per week will operate to/from ten destinations in the US, a ten per cent increase in capacity compared to last year; while 48 flights per week will operate to/from three destinations in Canada, delivering an 80 percent increase in seat availability compared to 2013.

“Dublin really punches above its weight as a transatlantic hub and the number of North American routes and destinations from Dublin Airport this year is greater than ever,” said Hanratty.  “This will provide fantastic choice and flexibility for our customers. Aer Lingus will have new direct services to San Francisco and Toronto, Air Canada will operate to Toronto year-round with its new Air Canada rouge leisure carrier and Canadian airline WestJet will operate a summer service to St John’s Newfoundland.”