Traffic on Aer Lingus Regional services from Dublin to Donegal and Kerry has increased significantly in the last 12 months.
According to the operator Stobart Air, passenger numbers on the Donegal service have risen by 52% and on the Kerry route by 35%.
Donegal and Kerry are both public service (PSO) routes which Stobart operates on behalf of the state.
The airline said it flew 33,516 passengers between Dublin and Donegal in the year to the end of October and over 51,000 between Dublin and Kerry.
Stobart said traffic has risen significantly since it took over the PSO routes. In 2015, when it began operating the Dublin-Donegal service, 22,022 passengers flew between the two airports. In 2014, when it took over the Dublin-Kerry route, the annual traffic figure was 37,800.
Stobart Air Managing Director Graeme Buchanan described the two routes as “vital public services”.
He added “We are pleased to see passenger numbers increase so significantly in a relatively short period of time. For these rural regions, a link to the capital means more opportunities for work and business, and more ways to stay connected with friends and family.”
The state contract for providing the two services expires in January and will go out to tender. Subsidising the two routes cost the state €7.76 million in 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available.
23 November 2017