By Trevor Quinn
More than 92,000 passengers flew in and out of Ireland West Airport in August during what was a bumper month of travel.
The facility returned to 97% of pre-pandemic numbers with the two London services, Stansted and Luton, the most popular choice for jetsetters.
A breakdown of August passengers found there were 92,662 seats booked on flights in and out of the airport compared to about 95,000 in August 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.
Donal Healy, head of marketing, said passenger numbers exceeded the expectations of management and staff at the airport.
“It was the busiest month of the year so far. It was a bit better than we would have forecasted, but look, forecasts these days are pie in the sky and it’s very hard to predict what’s going on in aviation at the minute.”
Mr Healy said about 26,000 seats were booked on the airport’s two London services and about 70,000 journeys were on UK flights.
“When you look at our sun passengers, Faro and Barcelona were the best two performing sun routes in August. It was a very strong month for sun flights and out of that 92,662 passengers about 21,500 were people travelling to sunnier climates.
“The last two or three months we’re back up to about 96% or 97% of what we would have done in 2019 so we’re creeping back up there.”
Mr Healy said airport management is optimistic that given the ‘quite strong’ flight schedule which is in place for the winter the demand for travel will continue.
Meanwhile, Mr Healy said he does not expect any part of the airport to be closed during filming for a new Netflix movie starring Lindsay Lohan during the last week in September.
Mr Healy also revealed that 1,200 people participated in a charity 5K runway event last Saturday in aid of the Childhood Cancer Foundation, the Sensational Kids charity, and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust and €20,000 was raised.
“It was a lovely event and the fifth time we’ve done it.”