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DAA Statement on Ryanair Capacity Cuts

July 08 2010

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) notes that yet again Ryanair, for its own reasons, has announced that it intends to reduce passenger choice by cutting some services from Dublin Airport this winter.

Ryanair's own business model and the wider economic position has contributed to the airline's decision to withdraw these services. These decisions are not related to passenger charges at Dublin Airport, which is one of Europe's most competitively priced large airports.

Dublin's current passenger charge for 2010 is 25% lower than the average €12.50 passenger charge levied in 2008 by comparable European airports such as Stansted, Gatwick, Brussels, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Zurich, Vienna, Munich, Oslo.

Ryanair's public position does not stand up to scrutiny. If, as it claims, charges at Dublin Airport are one of the key reasons that it is reducing capacity this winter, why did those same charges not have any impact on the company's desire to launch a new range of flights to sun destinations from Dublin this summer? Ryanair's decisions are based on the market, not Dublin Airport's highly competitive charges.

Ryanair claims that Dublin Airport's €9.32 passenger charge is damaging business and yet Ryanair has just added a €10 surcharge, which is a 33% increase, onto checked luggage for July and August. The €10 family bag charge is on top of the €30 that Ryanair charges customers to check in a bag for a return flight. Since 2006, Ryanair has increased some of its ancillary charges by up to 700%.

While it is the case that passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have been affected by the economic downturn, were it not for the impact of the volcanic ash cloud, up to 19 million passengers would have used Dublin Airport this year.

The DAA notes Ryanair's typically colourful and fatuous suggestion in relation to Terminal 2's future. The terminal's real future is only four months away and the DAA is fully confident that all Dublin Airport's passengers are looking forward to using the new terminal when it opens in November. T2 is a key element of strategic national infrastructure that will be used by passengers for the next half century.

Ryanair also continues to lie, again not for the first time, about the cost of Terminal Two. The overall T2 project, which includes the new passenger terminal, the new boarding gate facility known as Pier E, a new energy centre, new aircraft parking stands and a major upgrade of Dublin Airport's internal road network, is costing just over €600 million.

The investment in the T2 project, which is being undertaken without any State funding, will improve the passenger experience at Dublin Airport for many decades to come. T2 is the right terminal, at the right cost and will help position Ireland to take full advantage of the economic upturn when it comes.

Dublin Airport is, and has been, good for Ryanair's business over the past 20 years and the profits made from its Dublin routes have been a key factor in the airline's international expansion.

Ryanair has confirmed Dublin Airport's pivotal role many times in stock exchange documents. Services to Dublin Airport provided six of Ryanair's 10 largest routes, including its two largest routes, in the year to the end of March 2009, according to Ryanair's latest annual report.

Ryanair's top 10 routes, nine of which provide services to either Dublin or Stansted airports, accounted for 9% of its overall passenger numbers last year.

Ryanair's Top Ten Routes in FY 2009

Dublin - Stansted
Dublin - Gatwick
Stansted - Rome
Dublin - Manchester
Bergamo - Rome
Stansted - Bergamo
Prestwick - Stansted
Dublin - Birmingham
Dublin - Luton
Dublin - Cork

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