Overseas passengers still lagging behind pre-pandemic numbers

Overseas Passengers Still Lagging Behind Pre-Pandemic Numbers
Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed more than 1.7 million passengers arrived in Ireland on overseas routes in September. Photo: PA Images
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Cate McCurry, PA

The number of overseas passengers arriving into the State is still lagging behind pre-pandemic numbers, with 7.7 per cent fewer people travelling to the Republic, figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

More than 1,726,100 passengers arrived into the country from overseas in September.


The figures show that passenger arrivals remain significantly lower than those seen in September 2019, when 1,871,100 passengers arrived from overseas.

However, last month’s traveller numbers saw more than a two-fold increase compared with September 2021 figures, when there were 810,100 arrivals.

Of the 1,726,100 passengers arriving in Ireland in September, 94.3 per cent (1,626,800) arrived by air and 5.7 per cengt (99,200) arrived by sea. This means the share of sea travel has returned to its September 2019 pre-pandemic level when 5.7 per cent of passengers also arrived by sea.


More arrivals came via Britain, with 525,200 passengers, than via any other country last month.

Gregg Patrick, statistician in the Tourism and Travel Division, said: “The (1,726,100) passengers, comprising foreign visitors arriving in Ireland and Irish overseas travellers returning home, represent a very substantial increase on September 2021, when 810,100 passengers arrived on overseas routes.



“The increase is even more substantial when compared with September 2020 when just 254,400 passengers arrived on these routes.

“However, passenger arrivals remain significantly lower (7.7 per cent) than pre-pandemic September 2019, when 1,871,100 passengers arrived on overseas routes.

“The recovery is seen in both modes of travel, air and sea, although the recovery in air travel is most pronounced as it has more than doubled when compared with September 2021.


“The recovery is also spread across all major routes, with transatlantic traffic up most in relative terms with five passengers arriving on transatlantic routes in September 2022 for every one passenger in September 2021.”

Among the continental routes, Spanish routes were the busiest, with 250,200 passengers arriving via these routes, showing an almost two-fold increase compared to September 2021.

Other important gateways for arrivals included the United States, France and Italy.

When we compare these passenger flows with September 2019, passenger arrivals embarking from Spain were 2.3 per cent higher than pre-pandemic and arrivals embarking from France and Italy increased by 2.7 per cent and 11.2 per cent respectively.

However, passenger arrivals embarking from the US decreased by 13.6 per cent compared with September 2019.

In overall terms, Britain remained the most important departure country for overseas travel to Ireland, with 525,200 passengers arriving by air and sea routes from Britain, compared to just 252,500 in September 2021.

More than one-tenth of passenger arrivals (206,300) came or returned to Ireland on transatlantic routes, embarking in the US or Canada.

Nearly four in every 100 passenger arrivals (66,600) came or returned to the State on other routes, embarking in Africa or Asia.

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