Dublin & Cork Airports: Strong resurgence in H1 2023

Dublin Airport Comfortably Ahead of Pre-Pandemic Levels
Photo Credit: Dublin Airport.

Dublin and Cork airports, operated by daa, have witnessed a strong resurgence in passenger numbers during the first six months of 2023.

With 17.1 million passengers traveling to and from these Irish aviation hubs, this figure marks a significant recovery from the 13.0 million passengers recorded in the same period the previous year.

Soaring Turnover

The financial success story for daa doesn’t stop at passenger numbers; their total group turnover for the first half of 2023 reached an impressive €458.8 million, showcasing a substantial 55% increase compared to the previous year’s €295.6 million.

A considerable part of this increase can be attributed to improved passenger numbers, which in turn contributed to a remarkable 57% increase in domestic revenue, soaring to €337.1 million from the previous year’s €214.2 million.

Dublin Airport T2 exterior
Photo Credit: Dublin Airport


Aeronautical and Non-Aeronautical Revenue

Aeronautical revenue also saw a remarkable spike, surging by 102% to €130.3 million, up from €64.5 million in H1 2022. This boost was primarily driven by the surge in passenger numbers at both Dublin and Cork airports during the first half of the year.

Furthermore, non-aeronautical revenue saw a healthy 38% increase, reaching €206.8 million compared to the previous year’s €149.7 million.

This increase can be attributed to robust sales in food and beverages, retail, improved concessionaire revenues, and the high demand for car parking and lounge facilities, all stemming from the resurgence of post-pandemic international travel from Ireland.

International Expansion

daa’s international retail, consultancy, and management businesses, operated through Aer Rianta International (ARI) and daa International (daaI), also experienced substantial growth in the first half of 2023.

Combined revenue for these entities reached €121.7 million, marking a 49% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.

The rise in passenger volumes at daa’s 24 international retail stores across 13 countries significantly contributed to increased passenger spending, while daaI’s business generated revenues of €15.7 million in the first six months of 2023, an impressive increase of €9.1 million compared to the same period in 2022.

Rising Operating Costs and Investments

While daa basked in the glow of increased revenue, the total operating costs (including payroll, materials, and services) for the period of January to June reached €252.6 million, reflecting a 28% increase compared to the same period in 2022.

This increase was primarily driven by the resumption of normal airport operations post-COVID.

Capital investments during the first half of 2023 amounted to €81.3 million, compared to €68.4 million in H1 2022.

Noteworthy investments included critical taxiways and aircraft parking stands at Dublin Airport’s airfield, the completion of a new Hold Baggage Screening facility in Terminal 1, funding for sustainability initiatives, and the deployment of new C3 cabin baggage screening equipment in both terminals at Dublin Airport.

CEO’s Perspective

Kenny Jacobs, daa’s CEO, shared his thoughts on the first half of the year’s financial results, stating, “Dublin Airport saw an impressive 32% increase in passengers during the first six months of 2023, with 46 scheduled passenger airlines, including two new additions, flying to over 190 destinations.”

“The passenger experience at Dublin Airport improved significantly compared to the previous year, with passenger satisfaction ratings now reaching pre-COVID standards.”

Jacobs also highlighted that security queue times at Dublin Airport have improved, with 92.1% of passengers clearing security in under 20 minutes between January and June of this year.

He emphasized the company’s focus on infrastructure expansion to meet Ireland’s growing demand for international travel, including plans to increase Dublin Airport’s capacity to 40 million passengers per annum.

Economic Contribution

Dublin Airport plays a pivotal role in Ireland’s economy, contributing a staggering €9.6 billion in gross value added (GVA) and supporting or facilitating 116,100 jobs in the Republic of Ireland.

This makes it a vital economic enabler, equivalent to 2.3% of the national economy.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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