Getting to Ireland by Air

Unless visiting from Britain or France, the only practical way to visit Ireland is by air. Here's our guide to Irish airports and getting to Ireland by air.

The main air routes into Ireland are via Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports. Many carriers operate from these airports to countries around the globe. Britain, continental Europe and the USA are the major destinations served. Ryanair and AerLingus are the two main operators from most of the airports along with Easyjet from Belfast International.

On approach into Dublin Airport, over the Irish Sea

Airports - Going clockwise around the island:

  • Belfast City
  • Belfast International
  • Dublin
  • Waterford
  • Cork
  • Kerry
  • Shannon
  • Galway
  • Knock
  • Sligo
  • Donegal
  • Derry

 


Belfast City Airport

Not to be confused with Belfast International, the City Airport is now called George Best Belfast City Airport after the famous Northern Irish footballer and is located east of the city.

Location and Getting to Belfast City Airport

Located in postcode BT3 9JH, Belfast City Airport is located on the Sydenham Bypass, the A2, between Belfast and Holywood. The airport is easily accessible from the M1 and M2 via the M3 and is signposted.

The Airport Express (route 600) operates from the Europa Bus Centre to the airport every 20 minutes between 0530 and 2200.

Trains operate up to twice an hour from Sydenham train station to Belfast City between 0600 and 2300, 0900 to 2200 on Sundays.

Routes and Airlines

Flybe, bmibaby and manx2 operate from Belfast City Airport. Routes change but current destinations include London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Southampton and international routes to Paris, Amsterdam and Geneva.

The website for Belfast City Airport is: http://www.belfastcityairport.com/

 


Belfast International Airport

Colloquially known as Aldergrove, the International Airport is located close to Antrim on the shores of Lough Neagh about 30 minutes west of Belfast.

Getting to Belfast International Airport

The airport is located in postcode BT29 4AB, and is accessible from Belfast via the M2/A57 and from Dublin via the M1/A1/A26.

Airport Express (route 300) operates from the Europa Bus Centre to the airport up to every 15 minutes, with reduced frequency overnight and at weekends. Journey times are approximately 30 minutes.

Routes and Airlines

EasyJet, Aer Lingus, Jet2 and Continental fly from Belfast International Airport. Current destinations include London, Geneva, Newark, Rome, Nice and various destinations throughout Europe.

The website for Belfast International Airport is: http://www.belfastairport.com

 


Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is Ireland's largest and busiest airport. With almost 19 million passengers in 2011, it serves hundreds of destinations.

Location and Getting to Dublin Airport

Located 10km north of Dublin, close to the M50 and M1 major routes, Dublin Airport is easily reached by car, bus and taxi. By far the easiest way to get here (unless you need to drive) is by bus. There are many routes that serve Dublin Airport. Aircoach offer the easiest option for €8 single to Dublin City Centre, there are many routes serving the main locations such as O'Connell Street, Trinity College, Ballsbridge. They have a route to Cork as well as outlying districts of Dublin. Drivers will check you are on the correct bus, load and unload your bags for you and will announce the stops in good time. They are knowledgeable and courteous, a great service and cheaper than the taxi. The coaches also have free wifi - after a short registration page you free to browse the internet. Look at aircoach.ie for more details.

Dublin Bus Airlink services 747 and 748 cost €6 single, and run to Busaras and Heuston Train Station respectively, via O'Connell Street and other city centre locations. Dublin Bus routes 16a and 41 also serve Dublin Airport and cost €2.20. These tickets are valid for onward travel on Dublin Bus routes for up to 90 minutes from first use. These are standard urban buses, in that they have many stops and have more local users rather than tourists. The budget option.

Most major coach companies stop at Dublin Airport to pick up passengers for their routes. Destinations served include Belfast, Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford.

Routes and Airlines

It would be impossible to list all the destinations, but Dublin Airport serves 23 UK cities, 100 European cities, 10 North American locations with Washington DC being added this year and daily flights to Dubai. All the major carriers operate through Dublin Airport including United Airines, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Etihad. Iceland's WOW air is to start flights into Dublin July 2015, bringing low cost transatlantic flights to Ireland.

The website for Dublin Airport is: http://www.dublinairport.com

 


Waterford Airport

Waterford Airport serves the southeast of Ireland.

Location and Getting to Waterford Airport

Waterford Airport is located south of Waterford City on the R708, and is close to Tramore on the coast. The only way to get to and from Waterford Airport is by car or taxi. No bus or rail services presently exist.

Routes and Airlines

After the withdrawal of Aer Lingus Regional, formerly Aer Arann, Waterford airport lost its London routes. Flybe will cease operations from Waterford Airport in March 2015, and Belgian airline VLM will fly to Luton and back 12 times a week and Birmingham 4 times per week beginning in April 2015.

Aer Arann and Flybe fly to London Southend, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester.

The website for Waterford Airport is: http://www.flywaterford.com

 


Cork Airport

Serving the south and Ireland's third largest city.

Location and Getting to Cork Airport

Cork Airport is located 8km south of Cork on the N27. Bus Eireann and Citylink operate to and from the airport. There are no rail services and a taxi will cost approximately €10-€15.

Routes and Airlines

Aer Lingus, Wizz, Ryanair and others fly to the UK, France, Netherlands and Spain on a regular basis.

The website for Cork Airport is: http://www.corkairport.com

 


Kerry Airport

Serving one of Ireland's most scenic and most visited counties, Kerry Airport provides a link to Dublin and London.

Location and Getting to Kerry Airport

Kerry Airport is situated at Farranfore, approximately half way between Tralee and Killarney, on the N23. The airport is a ten minute walk to the nearest train station. Buses run to Tralee, Killarney and Limerick.

Routes and Airlines

Aer Lingus Regional and Ryanair fly to Dublin, London and Frankfurt.

The website for Kerry Airport is: http://www.kerryairport.com/

 


Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport carried 2.8 million passengers in 2009 and was opened in 1945 to serve as gateway to America. In the 1950s the airport became the first airport to have a duty free shop. Today Shannon Airport is the only airport in Europe to have United States pre-clearance for passengers.

Location and Getting to Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport is located west of Limerick City on the N19 which runs from the M18 Limerick-Ennis-Galway Road. Bus Eireann and JJ Kavanagh operate buses to and from the Airport to Limerick, Galway and Dublin.

Routes and Airlines

Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Air Transat, Delta and United fly to the UK, Newark, France and Spain.

The website for Shannon Airport is: http://www.shannonairport.com

 


Galway Airport

There are currently no scheduled services to and from Galway Airport although private aircraft can land and take off.

Location and Getting to Galway Airport

Routes and Airlines

The website for Galway Airport is: http://www.galwayairport.com

 


Ireland West Airport Knock

Located in a bog in the middle of nowhere, Ireland West Airport Knock is Ireland's Holy Airport. Located close to the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick and to Knock, a place of pilgrimage. Knock Airport also has a 'development fee' €10 charge applied to all passengers aged 12 or over flying from the airport. This is levied on top of any charges you have already paid to your airline and you should have cash with you as cards are not accepted for this fee.

Location and Getting to Knock International Airport

Knock Airport is located approximately halfway between Galway and Sligo on the N17. Trains don't run to the airport and car is the best option. Bus Eireann operate to Galway, Sligo and Westport.

Routes and Airlines

Ryanair, Flybe, bmibaby and Lufthansa fly to destinations across Europe. In line with its holy position flights operate to other the pilgrimage sites of Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorie.

The website for Ireland West Airport Knock is: http://www.irelandwestairport.com

 


Sligo Airport

There are currently no scheduled services to and from Sligo Airport.

Location and Getting to Sligo Airport

Routes and Airlines

The website for Sligo Airport is:  http://www.sligoairport.com

 


Donegal Airport

Serving the northwest and Donegal, a county with a long history of emigration and also temporary migration to Scotland.

Location and Getting to Donegal Airport

Located in Carrickfinn on the coast in northwest Donegal, this airport is best reached by car.

Routes and Airlines

Flybe operate to Dublin and Glasgow.

The website for Donegal Airport is: http://www.donegalairport.ie

 


City of Derry Airport

Northern Ireland's northwest airport.

Location and Getting to City of Derry Airport

Located in Eglinton, 10km northeast of Derry on the A2 road between Derry and Coleraine. The airport is located in postcode BT47 3GY. Ulsterbus operate a bus service to and from Derry City and a taxi will cost approximately £12.

Routes and Airlines

Ryanair fly to Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and London Stansted.

The website for City of Derry Airport is: http://www.cityofderryairport.com