New data from one of Ireland’s leading ride hailing apps, FREE NOW, reveals that foreign travel is back on the cards for many Irish people as ride-hailing requests to Dublin airport soared by 80% from the previous week – increasing by 170% compared to the same week in 2020.
After 16 months of restrictions on non-essential air travel, it seems Irish holidaymakers are keen to return to stunning sunny beaches, European hotspots or perhaps reunite with friends and family living abroad as soon as possible.
Trip data from FREE NOW also highlights a week-on-week jump in taxi trips to Cork and Shannon airports too on the 19 and 20 July, increasing respectively by 96% (Cork) and 65% (Shannon).
Monday, 19 July, was the busiest day for airport bookings on the FREE NOW app since the start of the year, as the nation took advantage of the lifted travel ban.
4am on Monday was the busiest hour to book a taxi on FREE NOW signalling that holidaymakers were keen to make the most of their trip by getting an early start.
There was also a 95% increase in collections from Dublin airport via the FREE NOW app on Monday as many ex-pats returned home to Ireland, some for the first time in 16 months.
22,500 passengers passed through Dublin Airport on Monday 19 July, compared with an average of 14,000 per day the previous week.
However, these figures are still 87% less than pre-Covid levels during the same period in 2019 indicating there is still a way to go for full recovery of the travel sector.
Commenting on the significant increase in airport bookings, Niall Carson, Country Manager at FREE NOW, said: “FREE NOW welcomes the return of international travel this week, and we are delighted to facilitate transport to and from airports for holidaymakers once again.
"A holiday abroad for many people in Ireland officially begins with a taxi journey to the airport - with our team of dedicated drivers and our pre-booking function which allows passengers to book a trip up to 4 days in advance, we hope to make it a seamless and stress-free process for passengers this summer.
"We expect the demand for airport bookings to continue growing over the coming months with the widespread roll-out of vaccinations and digital covid certs, making foreign travel a safer and more straightforward process as we emerge from the pandemic.
"We are committed to playing our part in supporting Ireland’s post-pandemic reboot and keeping the nation moving with safe and flexible transport options.”