Passenger numbers at Dublin airport increased by almost 6% to 20.2 million last year, the Dublin Airport Authority’s (DAA) financial results for 2013 have revealed. 

The increase comes as 70% of the airlines operating at Dublin experienced traffic growth. 

“Long-haul traffic was Dublin’s best performer last year, with transatlantic passenger numbers up 13% to a record 1.9 million and traffic to the Middle East also up 13%,” DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said.

Traffic at Cork declined by 3.5% to 2.3 million passengers last year, due to a consolidation in services to central Europe and weaker traffic routes to Britain. 

However, despite the increase in overall passenger numbers, core business profit at DAA decreased by 7% to €26m last year, due to the group’s overseas retail business ARI completing a planned exit from Russia and Ukraine. 

Last year, Dublin Airport’s transfer passengers increased by 36% to 548,000 and they have increased by a further 30% so far this year. The DAA plans to grow transfer traffic to 2 million per year. 

Securing an equitable resolution to the issues facing the multi-employer IAS pension scheme, which includes employees from DAA, Aer Lingus and SRT, was also cited as a key priority for the company. 

“DAA is actively engaged with the Government appointed Expert Panel investigating the pension issue and we will continue to focus on this critical issue until a sustainable resolution is achieved,” said DAA Chairman Pádraig Ó Ríordáin.

The retirement fund has a deficit €780m which means members face reduced benefits. 

The accounts show CEO Kevin Toland was paid a total package of €387,739 last year, which included a basic salary of €250,000 and pension contributions and other taxable benefits of €137,739.