Ryanair has scrapped 17 routes from its Dublin Airport itinerary; essentially slashing its winter 2023/’24 flight schedule at its home base, blaming airport charges and management decisions imposed by airport operator Daa.
Ryanair directly blamed “DAA’s rising passenger charges of 45%, ongoing CAPEX mismanagement and their failure to deliver a meaningful environmental incentive scheme that rewards lower emission aircraft.”
As well as the 17 routes, Ryanair has moved its entire Dublin-based enviro-friendly “Gamechanger” fleet (19 aircraft) to alternative EU airports that, it says, incentivise airlines to grow passenger numbers with quieter, lower CO2 emission aircraft.
“Daa has a history of mismanagement at Dublin Airport, including understaffing summer security, wasting taxpayers’ money on ill-thought-out infrastructure projects, and failing to support low-cost access and sustainable growth. The DAA is increasing its already excessive charges by a ludicrous 45% to fund its €3bn gold-plated CAPEX programme, which includes a portfolio of unnecessary vanity projects which have no benefit for passengers. A prime example of this is DAA’s €250m cargo tunnel. This tunnel is superfluous and could easily be replaced with a tried and tested low-cost alternative like the crossing system at Cologne Airport – home of Europe’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA),” Ryanair said.
The airline also claimed Daa has “failed to deliver a meaningful environmental scheme to incentivise airlines to grow with quieter, lower CO2 emissions.”
Ryanair said it is calling on Daa to “urgently prioritise investment in facilities that are needed, infrastructure and incentive programs that will underpin passenger growth, reward lower-emission aircraft and lower charges to stimulate connectivity, which is what Ireland’s growing economy needs.”
Ryanair DAC 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.
“Unlike most other EU airports, DAA is unfortunately focused on increasing passenger charges by 45% and wasting €250m on a tunnel the same size as the Dublin Port tunnel that is not needed. DAA needs to build low-cost infrastructure to support passenger growth and connectivity but has failed to implement a growth incentive scheme or, indeed lower charges that reward those airlines who invest in lower emission aircraft.
“The Irish Government implemented an innovative industry-leading Traffic Recovery Support Scheme post-Covid, with Ryanair responding with +117% recovery vs. pre-Covid levels, ensuring Ireland’s recovery of connectivity and tourism. Unfortunately, all this good work is now going to unravel with DAA’s misguided policy of increasing charges by 45%. Dublin Airport isn’t Heathrow; Dublin competes for traffic with other European Airports, and with less airline seat capacity returning post covid, airports must respond with incentives to attract that smaller pool of aircraft seat capacity.
“Sadly, DAA are oblivious to what is happening at airports elsewhere in Europe and is intent on rating charges by 45%, with hugely damaging consequences for Ireland.
“Airports that have lowered charges and implemented incentive passenger growth schemes for lower-emission aircraft are recovering passenger numbers and growing connectivity. DAA’s policies are putting Ireland at risk of becoming just like Germany, whose passenger numbers are only 75% recovered vs. pre-Covid with reduced connections and tourism because they increased airport and security charges – precisely what DAA are now doing. What has played out in Germany will now be repeated in Ireland as higher airport charges mean lower passengers which runs counter to Govt policy to develop low-cost sustainable access to support a growing economy.
“DAA 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.”