Aer Lingus Regional Carries Record Breaking Number of Passengers Travelling Between Donegal and Dublin for the Month of August

August has seen the highest number of passengers flying the route since its inception in 1996, surpassing all previous records


Aer Lingus Regional, exclusively operated by Emerald Airlines, and the operator of the Exchequer-funded Public Service Obligation (PSO) air route between Donegal and Dublin, today announces a record number of passengers travelling between both regions for the month of August.


Inbound passengers travelling from Dublin to Donegal have experienced a 13% increase compared to the previous year. This growth is driven by strong tourist demand, particularly from those travelling from North America. The surge of inbound passengers not only signifies the growing popularity of the route but also highlights the appeal of the North West region as a destination for both leisure and exploration.


Commenting on the announcement, Ian Lough, Head of Commercial at Emerald Airlines, said: “We’re delighted to have carried a record number of passengers for the month of August, travelling between Donegal and Dublin. This route is a popular one for those travelling for both business and leisure purposes and plays a vital role in enabling those travelling to Dublin for medical appointments.  


We are continuing to see large demand for passengers travelling for leisure purposes to and from Donegal, along with customers seamlessly connecting onto the Aer Lingus long-haul network at Dublin Airport. Passengers are travelling onwards across the globe to cities including Dubai, Sydney, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Orlando.”


Welcoming this news Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers, said, “This Government funded PSO air service provides vital connectivity to the North-West region. I would like to wish Emerald Airline’s continued success in operating this route and providing the people and businesses in the North-West with this vital daily connectivity to Dublin. As well as supporting the economy and tourism in the region, the service facilitates same day return flights from Donegal for the attendance of medical, social and other important appointments in Dublin.


Minister Chambers added, “This PSO air service also provides for further international connectivity through Dublin Airport.  It is encouraging to see the number of passengers using this service to connect onwards. These passengers can avail of the one stop security arrangements introduced last year which facilitates domestic passengers with cabin baggage travelling to onward destinations on the same day. This means that passengers no longer have to be rescreened at Dublin Airport prior to boarding their onward flights. While Passengers with hold baggage cannot avail of this one stop security screening, they can nevertheless avail of the free Fast Track service in both T1 and T2”


Aer Lingus Regional offer 4 flights daily, linking Donegal and Dublin with convenient flight timings and seamless connections on the Aer Lingus network from Dublin. Not only does this provide a huge boost for travel between Donegal and Dublin in the absence of a motorway or rail network in the region but has also re-established vital tourism connections to Donegal on the wider Aer Lingus network.


Managing Director of Donegal Airport, Eilís Docherty commented: “We are delighted to have noted the increase in passenger numbers on the route this summer, particularly in August 2023, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Emerald Airlines, to ensure that this upward trend in passenger numbers is maintained over the shoulder season.  We have seen the highest number of passengers connecting to transatlantic services on the Aer Lingus network this summer as well as domestic passengers discovering all that Donegal has to offer.  This vital PSO route also serves to provide ease of access to Dublin for passengers travelling for business and social needs.”


Emerald Airlines, exclusive operator of Aer Lingus Regional services, was selected as the exclusive operator of the PSO air route between Donegal and Dublin, providing an essential air link between the North West and Dublin in the absence of a motorway or rail network in the region.


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