HomeBusiness Travel NewsRyanair Urges Scrapping of Dublin Airport Passenger Cap, as it Loses 1...

Ryanair Urges Scrapping of Dublin Airport Passenger Cap, as it Loses 1 Million Seats this Winter

Ryanair has said that more than 1 million of its seats have been “blocked” this coming winter, due to the 32 million person traffic cap at Dublin Airport.

Following the airport’s winter 2024 slot allocation to airlines, Ryanair has called on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to intervene and urgently scrap the passenger cap.

Earlier this month the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) confirmed that it will limit Winter traffic at Dublin Airport to just 14.4m passengers. This is the first time that the IAA has imposed such a limit.

As a result, Ryanair has been allocated 1 million less seats (6.4 million passengers) this winter than it requires to meet demand. The airline had been aiming to grow by 9%, in Dublin, this winter by carrying 7.5 million passengers and launching 15 new routes.

Ryanair has already been forced to switch three aircraft, 16 new routes, and over 200 jobs to Southern Italy for Summer ‘24 which would have gone to Dublin but were blocked by the traffic cap.

Ryanair said it wants to continue to grow and invest in Ireland, having submitted proposals to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to grow Irish traffic by 50% from 20 million passengers to 30 million by 2030.

Ryanair airline chief executive, Eddie Wilson, said: “It is inexplicable that Minister Ryan has done nothing in the last 4+ years to intervene, despite the traffic cap completely contradicting his own National Aviation Policy.

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“Ryanair calls on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to urgently lift this archaic and destructive traffic cap from Dublin Airport, which is a vital piece of national infrastructure. If Minister Ryan fails to take action to remove this block on seats, then traffic will stall to the detriment of jobs, tourism and connectivity. Passengers will see for the first-time what Minister Ryan’s inaction will do to air fares at peak periods as Ryanair, and indeed all other airlines, will be blocked from putting on additional flights for peak demand for the October mid-term, Christmas and one-off sporting events.

Minister Ryan has done nothing to avert this crisis in capacity restrictions and instead of taking action he is prepared to let this capacity cap to be bogged down in local planning for the next 3/4 years when he should fast track the development of vital national infrastructure with Ministerial intervention. Unfortunately, families returning home for Christmas, getting away for the October mid-term or attending sporting events will now have to pay for Minister Ryan’s inaction with higher airfares as demand at these peak periods is outstripping the supply of flights that Ryanair unfortunately will have to send elsewhere in Europe.”

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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