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Record breaking April for passenger numbers at Ireland West Airport


A record 77,000 passengers passed through Ireland West Airport in April making it the busiest April in the airports 38 year history. The passenger numbers represented a 7.5% increase on the previous busiest April in 2019 and a 10% increase on April 2022 figures.

April was also the first month that passenger numbers using the airport returned to pre covid 2019 passenger levels which recognises the increased demand for travel to and from the airport. Following a strong start to 2023 the airport is forecasting passenger numbers to exceed 2019 levels and reach a record 850,000 passengers for the year. 

In April, Ryanair carried record passenger numbers, for a month of April, on its services to Edinburgh, Liverpool and Milan and reported very strong passenger numbers on their sun services to Alicante, Faro, Malaga, Palma and on its brand-new weekly service to Lanzarote which recommenced after a three-year absence. The start of the Lanzarote service is part of Ryanair’s biggest ever summer schedule from the airport with flights to 16 destinations across the UK and Europe, operating 120 weekly flights, a 15% increase on 2022. As well as starting a new service to Lanzarote, Ryanair will operate flights to European hotspots such as Alicante, Barcelona, Cologne, Faro, Majorca, Malaga and Milan this summer. In addition, Ryanair have Increased frequencies on 5 UK routes, adding an extra 40,000+ seats on services to Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester for the summer season.

April was also a milestone month as the airport welcomed the commencement of a brand-new daily service to London Heathrow with Aer Lingus. The service performed strongly in April with strong volumes of passenger’s travelling onward via Heathrow to destinations such as New York, Boston and a host of other destinations across Europe, Africa and Australia. The importance of this new connection is significant as it’s the first time Ireland West Airport is now to one of Europe’s major international airport hubs. The hub status of Heathrow for business and leisure passengers to connect with the global marketplace is a major boost for the airport, as this service opens up key onward connectivity, through one of Europe’s biggest hubs, to and from over 80 markets worldwide.  

On Friday 14th of April the airport had the honour of welcoming the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, for what was a historic visit to the airport and his ancestral home in Ballina – an experience which will live long in the memory of the airport.

Commenting on a record month for passenger traffic for the airport, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport, said ‘April has proven to be a record month for the airport, and we were delighted to see such strong volumes using the airport last month. It’s been particularly pleasing to welcome so many new customers to the airport in April from counties such as Tyrone, Cavan, Westmeath, Offaly and Galway to name but a few which really demonstrates the increasing popularity of using the airport. The increasing choice of destinations on offer for customers in the West, Northwest and Midlands regions this summer has never been stronger and combined with the stress-free experience and convenience of using the airport we hope these factors will continue to entice new customers to the airport in the coming months and experience for themselves the benefits of flying from a regional airport like Ireland West Airport. It’s also been particularly pleasing to welcome the commencement of new services to Lanzarote with Ryanair and London Heathrow with Aer Lingus, which is a real game changer for the region in terms of the global connectivity now available for passengers travelling to and from the West, Northwest, and Midlands regions of Ireland’. 

Ahead of the busiest summer season on record, work is continuing on the Airports Transformation Programme with the completion of resurfacing works in our airport car park and marking of new dedicated passenger walkways. In addition, a new and enhanced food and beverage offering will open later this month in the upstairs Slainte restaurant area which will come as welcome news for those wishing to relax and have a snack or drink whilst watching planes landing and taking off.