Traffic at Dublin Airport (DUB) has rebounded much faster than anticipated and airport operator daa is planning for another strong year in 2023 to help mitigate operational issues.
Speaking at GAD World in Amsterdam, daa interim CEO Catherine Gubbins said the group had expected traffic this year to be about 70-75% of 2019 levels during 2022, but the figure for the year will be about 85%. In the first nine months of the year, the airport handled about 20.9 million passengers—an increase of 386% compared with the same period in 2021.
“In September we were over 90% of 2019 levels and we have the same number of scheduled airlines. When you look at the fundamentals of the business, they are strong,” Gubbins said. “In the short-term, we are optimistic about next year despite all the macroeconomic indicators.
“We’ve stayed close to our airline partners and have some robust insight on their capacity plans. I think with the operational challenges we’ve seen this year we’re definitely planning for [a strong 2023].”
Dublin Airport hit the headlines earlier this year when a shortage of staff led to lengthy delays at security. However, after a number of contingency measures were put in place, daa said that almost all passengers who departed from the airport during August and September passed through security in under 30 minutes.
“There is uncertainty about passenger growth, but we don’t want to be in a position where we have an undersupply of resources,” Gubbins said.
In August, Dublin Airport opened its new north runway following a six-year construction period. The new runway cost €320 million ($312 million), and daa expects it will support the creation of 31,200 new jobs and €2.2 billion ($2.15 billion) in additional economic activity.