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Press Releases 2009

DAA Statement Regarding Ryanair Capacity Cuts

July 30 2009

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) notes Ryanair’s statement in relation to its planned capacity cuts from Ireland this winter. The DAA contends that Ryanair’s decision is purely related to the current economic downturn.

The DAA is always disappointed when an airline customer decides for whatever reason to reduce capacity from one of its three airports. The DAA expects Ryanair will be one of the first airlines to expand its services out of Dublin Airport when economic conditions improve. It is not clear what proportion of these cuts will actually take place.  Recent experience shows that Ryanair announces large cuts in capacity to the media, but subsequently reduces capacity by a much smaller amount in reality.

Last summer (15 July 2008), Ryanair claimed it would cut weekly flights from Dublin by 12% over the winter of 2008-2009, whereas the actual capacity cut was 4.2%. Ryanair announced that it would carry 500,000 fewer passengers from Dublin last winter.  But in actual fact, the reduction in Ryanair passengers last winter was 150,000. These reductions were also due to the economic downturn.In July last year, Ryanair claimed that its passenger traffic at Stansted would drop by 900,000 passengers in the winter of 2008-09, but according to BAA, which operates Stansted Airport, the reduction in passenger numbers was in reality about 400,000.

The DAA maintains that Ryanair is cutting capacity from Ireland and Britain because it has previously warned investors that declining economic growth in Ireland and the UK is “likely to impact demand for air travel”.

Independent research proves that passenger charges at Dublin Airport are among the lowest of any comparable European airport.  Dublin Airport’s passenger charges have fallen by 30% in real terms over the past 20 years. 

Studies by Airports Council International (ACI), the Commission for Aviation Regulation and others confirm that passenger charges at Dublin Airport are amongst the lowest of any major airport in Europe.

Airport charges at Dublin Airport are regulated and the regulator has sanctioned some increases over the past three years. During the same three-year period, according to recent independently verified figures, Ryanair’s own charges have exploded:

• Ryanair’s baggage check-in charge has increased by 600% since 2006
• The charge for using a credit card to book a Ryanair flight has increased by 285% since 2006
• The cost of changing a Ryanair flight booking has increased by 66% since 2006
• The cost of carrying sports equipment  on a Ryanair flight has increased by 97% since 2006

Ryanair claims that its charges are discretionary; however passengers have no choice but to pay its online check-in charge. Irish consumers also have to pay Ryanair’s credit card charge since Visa does not offer its Electron card product in Ireland.

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 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, published earlier this week.  Dublin Airport has actually consolidated its position within the Ryanair network over the past 12 months, as last year it accounted for five of Ryanair’s top 10 routes.
Ryanair operated 854 routes at the end of June, while its top 10 routes, all of which provide services to either Dublin or Stansted airports, accounted for 9% of its overall passenger numbers.

Ryanair’s Top Ten Routes 09
Dublin – Stansted
Dublin - Gatwick
Stansted - Rome
Dublin - Manchester
Bergamo - Rome
Stansted - Bergamo
Prestwick - Stansted
Dublin - Birmingham
Dublin - Luton
Dublin - Cork

For further information contact:

Paul O’Kane, Tel  353 1 8141897, 353 86 6090221
Siobhan Moore, Tel  353 1 8144108, 353 87 2710065

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