Travellers relishing ‘thrill of airport shopping’ at Dublin and Cork, says ARI

By Luke Barras-hill |

Source: daa.

Duty free shops at Dublin and Cork Airports are busy again after pent-up customer demand was unleashed this week as new rules kicked in.

In a huge boost for travel retail businesses, including Aer Rianta International (ARI), the daa operated and managed airports welcomed back passengers on Monday (19 July) after Ireland lifted restrictions on international travel for non-essential reasons.

Sharing comments with TRBusiness, Paul Neeson, Director, ARI Ireland praised a ‘momentous week’, one in which ARI’s teams had been planning and preparing for over a long period of time.

Paul Neeson, Director, ARI Ireland: “Passengers are shopping at a level not previously experienced as they seek out gifts for those they are being reunited with, or simply finding an excuse to treat themselves again.”


“We have worked hard to create safe shopping environments to protect our customers and give them the opportunity to shop on their terms,” he explained.

“Any potential pre-concerns about travelling again have melted away as passengers realise the journey through the airport is much calmer than they imagined it to be.

“Once they hit the shops, they realised what they have missed for almost two years… the thrill of airport shopping. Passengers are shopping at a level not previously experienced as they seek out gifts for those they are being reunited with, or simply finding an excuse to treat themselves again.

“Our teams are delighted to be busy with customers again and to see so many happy people sharing their stories and their dreams for the future.”

While acknowledging there is still ‘a long way to go’, Neeson points to a buzz in and around the stores over the past few days.

“The smiles on the faces of our retail teams are mirrored by those of our customers: thrilled to be flying again and seeking to treat themselves before they take off. Welcome back to all our customers on what we hope is one huge step on the road back to normality.”

Ireland has aligned with the EU in implementing the EU Digital Covid Certificate, permitting travellers to enter Ireland from countries within the EU/EEA without having to quarantine by providing proof of full vaccination, recovery from Covid-19 in the past 180 days or by presenting a negative RT-PCR test taken 72 hours prior to arrival.

The smiles on the faces of the retail teams are being mirrored by the travel retailer’s customers, reports ARI.

It is also applying an ‘emergency brake’ mechanism to respond to the emergence of variants of concern or variants of interest.

Visitors from Great Britain who have valid proof of vaccination (European Medicine Agencies approved) or have valid proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the last 180 days will not have to undergo travel-related testing or quarantining.

Those with no valid proof of vaccination will be required to present the aforementioned negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival, self-quarantine for 14 days and take post-arrival tests.

The same rules apply to arrivals from North America but travellers to Northern Ireland adhere to different measures according to the UK’s current traffic light system.

Dalton Philips, Chief Executive, daa.


At present, thirty six airlines fly directly to over 130 international destinations at Dublin Airport, with six airlines operating direct flights to 20 Continental Europe and UK destinations at Cork Airport.

Dalton Philips, Chief Executive at operator daa, told Ireland’s RTÉ that the first day of the travel re-opening under the EU Digital Covid Certificate had been positive, with more than 22,500 people through Dublin Airport.

Both airports have remained open during the pandemic and have played important roles in supporting the import and export of essential medical goods and supplies.

“Dublin and Cork Airports have experienced a loss of over 43 million passengers in the past 16 months,” said Philips in a statement.

“We are working tirelessly to restore the vital connectivity that Ireland has lost during that time. The Irish economy, which is one of the most open in the world, is hugely dependent on international air connectivity for trade, tourism and foreign direct investment.

“The global pandemic has taken an enormous toll and people are looking forward to reconnecting with family and friends overseas who they haven’t seen for almost a year and a half.

“We have been waiting patiently for international travel to resume and it is wonderful to see customers coming through the doors of our terminals again for leisure and business travel.”

Dublin Airport currently handles 36 airlines flying directly to more than 130 international destinations. Source: daa.

A statement on Tourism Ireland’s website added: “Unprecedented efforts are under way to safeguard public health and limit the spread of Covid-19 on the island of Ireland. Tourism Ireland continues to monitor the situation closely.”

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