2021 has proven to be another tough year at Ireland West Airport as the impact of COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on passenger numbers. Last year just 175,000 passengers passed through the airport, passenger numbers in 2020 dipped to just 143,000.
Passenger numbers in 2021 declined by 79% compared to the record high of 807,000 passengers in 2019.
142,000 passengers travelled through the airport on services to and from the UK in 2021 compared to a record 671,000 in 2019 whilst just 31,000 passengers travelled to mainland and continental European destinations last year compared to 134,000 which used these services in 2019.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, investment has continued in the Airport Transformation Programme, with a number of infrastructural projects commencing last year (2021)
Among the developments is a runway end safety upgrade works, a new arrivals hall passenger exit facility, upgrade of the electrical infrastructure and a Master Plan to support the airports sustainability and environmental strategy.
2021 brought some further positive news with the announcement by Ryanair of three new destinations as the airline commenced new services to both Edinburgh and Manchester in September and announced in December the launch of a new service to Birmingham, which will commence in March 2022.The airport were also delighted to welcome back Aer Lingus to the airport in December, following an absence of over 20 months.
Commenting on the 2021 performance, Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport said: “The continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the airports business is evident as we experienced another year of very low passenger numbers in 2020, with numbers declining to levels last seen in the 1990’s. As we look ahead to 2022 the year ahead will present many challenges due to the pandemic but we can look forward with optimism following the recent positive route announcements by Ryanair and also the return to the airport of Aer Lingus. Furthermore, we welcome the very positive news by Government of new travel rules, which remove the requirement for vaccinated passengers to produce a negative Covid-19 test on arrival into Ireland, which will provide confidence and reassurance for people looking to book short breaks and holidays in 2022. We remain confident that with the support of our loyal customer base, Local Authority partners, stakeholders and Government, the airport will hopefully enjoy a much stronger year this year’.