Airlines for America (A4A), an industry group featuring United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines, is threatening to leave Dublin International unless the current cap of 32 million passengers per year is raised. The group's members also include cargo carriers FedEx Express, which has a crew base in the Irish capital, and UPS Airlines.

“Failure to cater to US-Ireland passenger demand will have a significant negative impact on the Irish economy. [...] Three US companies - Apple, Microsoft, and Google - are responsible for one-third of Ireland’s corporation tax,” A4A said in a filing to Fingal County Council, which is currently deciding on the cap expansion.

The US group added that the limit needs to be lifted “if Ireland is to sustain and grow current levels of US tourism and foreign direct investment” and noted that passenger growth between the US and Ireland grew by 76% from 2013 to 2023, emphasising that it expects a similar increase in the coming years.

ch-aviation capacities data shows that in the week starting February 26, 2024, the US carrier with the largest capacity at Dublin International was Delta with 4,690 seats, or 1.42% of the total, and second is American Airlines with 3,276 passengers, accounting for 0.99%. Local carriers Ryanair (FR, Dublin International) and Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin International) account for around 75% of the airport's capacity.

The pressure on regulators in Ireland comes following similar complaints made by Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

Dublin Airport’s passenger cap has been set at 32 million in order not to overburden local infrastructure as well as to ease carbon and noise pollution. Now, airlines and the airport administrator, daa, are seeking to increase that number to 40 million per year. Fingal City Council has asked daa to submit additional documents to prove the expansion is needed.

Dublin Airport hosted 31.9 million passengers in 2023, which is 60% more than 10 years ago, official figures published by daa show.