Ireland’s Dublin Airport has reported a decline of around 78% in passenger traffic in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airport handled approximately 7.4 million passengers last year, losing around 25.5 million passengers, an amount equal to the population of Australia.

The last time the airport recorded fewer than 8 million passengers in a calendar year was in 1994.

In 2020, the majority of the passengers travelled through the airport during January and February.

During these months, passenger traffic increased by 2% to 4.1 million passengers.

However, between March and the end of December, passenger numbers dropped by 89% to 3.3 million.

Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport dropped by 90% in January this year.

Daily passenger traffic is currently down by up to 98% compared to the same period in 2020.

Dublin Airport remained open as an essential service throughout 2020 in compliance with the Irish Government guidelines.

The airport facilitated the arrival of 6.2 million tonnes of equipment on 357 separate cargo flights, managed by 16 different carriers.

Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison said: “Aviation was one of the sectors of the Irish economy that was hardest hit by Covid-19, and this is reflected in the passenger numbers for last year.

“It was a hugely challenging year for Dublin Airport and for the entire Irish aviation sector, as the reduction in air travel and the introduction of travel restrictions in most markets had a very significant impact on passenger numbers during the year.”

In 2019, the airport was providing flights to more than 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by nearly 50 airlines.

In contrast, last April, the airport was connected with just 22 destinations in 11 countries operated by seven carriers.

Recently, ACI EUROPE reported that European airports lost nearly 1.72 billion passengers in 2020 compared with 2019, indicating a decrease of -70.4%.

While hubs in Turkey and Russia performed better comparatively, Europe’s airport traffic dropped down to 1995 levels last year.