Mission Aviation Fellowship

Ryanair cuts Dublin flights over spat with airport operators

Yesterday (21 Sep) saw Ryanair announce cuts to its Winter 23/24 schedule at Dublin Airport due to claims of rising passenger charges of 45%, alleged ongoing capital expenditure mismanagement and “their failure to deliver a meaningful environmental incentive scheme that rewards lower emission aircraft”.

As a result, the airline says that it has cancelled 17 routes and moved its entire Dublin-based “enviro-friendly ‘Gamechanger’” fleet of 19 aircraft to alternative EU airports that “incentivise airlines to grow passenger numbers with quieter, lower CO2 emission aircraft”.

Speaking in Dublin, Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “It is regrettable that Ryanair is announcing 17 route cuts and the removal of 19 “Gamechanger” enviro-friendly aircraft this Winter at Dublin because there are no incentives at Dublin to grow traffic or reward investment in aircraft with lower C02 and noise emissions.

“DAA [Dublin Airport’s operators] should urgently prioritise investment in low-cost useful infrastructure and introduce incentive programs to lower charges that will facilitate passenger growth, reward lower-emission aircraft and lower charges to stimulate connectivity, underpinning tourism, and job growth, which is what Ireland’s growing economy needs.”

Responding to Ryanair’s allegations, DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs said: “I love Ryanair and I love the way they sometimes won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. It is a FALSE claim that charges at Dublin Airport are to increase by 45% in 2024. While the IAA has determined that charges can go up by 6%, we would welcome a bigger increase in charges to allow us to invest more in the service we give our passengers, but we do not set the charges.

“I am surprised that Ryanair would seek to reconfigure its based aircraft at Dublin Airport this winter when they could pay even lower ultra-low-cost charges in 2024 (VS 2023) if they choose to avail of our sustainability incentives.

“Ryanair’s claim that Dublin Airport offers no incentives to airlines is also FALSE. A traffic recovery scheme is in place at Dublin Airport that has worked incredibly well and has facilitated the speedy 100% bounce back in activity at Dublin Airport post-Covid. This scheme will remain in place for another six months. 

“As the biggest beneficiary of the TRSS scheme, we can understand why Ryanair would like to see it remain in place beyond next March, but we are happy that Dublin Airport’s growth has recovered to pre-pandemic levels and we do not need to incentivise new growth given Dublin Airport has a planning capacity limit of 32 million passengers per annum.”

[Image credit: DAA]

Author: FTN Editor

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