Dublin Airport is Europe’s most popular airport for passengers choosing to self-connect, according to a new study by the global travel search engine Skyscanner.
Data from Skyscanner shows the top airports that travellers are choosing to self-connect through in Europe, the Americas, and Asia, with Dublin, Los Angeles’ LAX and Singapore’s Changi airport topping the list for their respective regions.
Self-connecting air passengers design their own itinerary, travelling on two separate tickets, often with different carriers in order to save money or to enable them to make stop-overs en route.
The most popular airports for self-connecting travellers in Europe were; Dublin, Barcelona, London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol and Madrid, according to the study, which was drawn from Skyscanner’s 50 million monthly users in 2015.
“The trend for self-connecting is on the rise globally and Dublin Airport is perfectly positioned to benefit from this expanding market,” said incent Harrison, managing director, Dublin Airport.
“We have a strong and growing network to North America and an extensive short-haul network to Britain and continental Europe. Our geographic position coupled with our connectivity and our award-winning customer service make Dublin a great option for self-connecting between Europe and North America,” he added.
Dublin Airport is now the fifth largest European airport for connectivity into North America, with only the major hubs of London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt and Amsterdam Schiphol having more routes and flights.
“We’re working hard to grow all of our connecting business at Dublin, both traditional connecting traffic and also the self-connecting market,” said Harrison. “Connecting traffic is hugely beneficial for Dublin Airport and for the wider Irish economy, as it generates additional demand for services which means more choice and connectivity for Irish business and leisure travellers, and more inbound visitors to Ireland.”
Last year, more than one million passengers transferred or transited through Dublin Airport, as the airport continued to expand its position as a growing hub for transatlantic traffic. Latest data from the airport shows more than 138,000 passengers used Dublin Airport as a hub to connect to an onward destination during the first three months of the year, a 60 percent increase on the same period in 2015.
The number of passengers connecting from the UK and mainland Europe and transferring onwards to the United States increased by 68 percent. Passengers transferring in the opposite direction, from the US to Britain or the Continent, grew by percent.
“More and more passengers are choosing to use Dublin Airport to connect to the US from the UK and from the US into UK and continental European destinations,” said Ronan Fitzsimons, head of transfer product, Dublin Airport.
Boston, New York (JFK) and Chicago are the most popular onward destinations from Dublin with an extra 65,000 connecting passengers during the first quarter of 2016. Dublin Airport has direct flights into 21 airports in the UK where the most popular connecting destinations are London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh. The Dublin-London route is the busiest city pair in Europe and the second biggest in the world.
Dublin Airport officials are working closely with airline partners to build Dublin Airport as a gateway. The facility is currently the only major airport in Europe to offer US preclearance, which enables passengers to save time on arrival in the US by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure, a major marketing advantage for the airport.
“All boarding gates are located under one roof between two terminals making it easier for customers to make connections to Britain, Europe and North America via Dublin," said Fitzsimons. “In addition our new Flight Connection Hosts will assist all our connecting passengers through our seamless first class connecting product,” he added.
Dublin Airport, which is Ireland’s largest international gateway, welcomed over 5.5 million passengers through Dublin Airport in the first three months of the year, representing a 17 percent increase, or an extra 817,000 passengers. The Airport has direct flights to over 180 destinations in 40 countries on four continents.