Ryanair seeking ‘free deal’ to deliver 5 million passengers

By Gordon Deegan

yanair is seeking a free deal in a fresh proposal to Government to deliver 5 million passengers over the next five years at Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

Deputy chief executive of the airline, Michael Cawley, confirmed the airline was seeking a deal that would not involve it paying any airport charges to the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

He said the offer has been lodged with Government in the past number of weeks.

Last year, the Government rejected a previous Ryanair proposal to deliver passengers after the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) and consultants Deloitte recommended against it.

Mr Cawley said yesterday the deal being put to Government was a deal that Ryanair enjoys “across 50 to 60 airports in Europe”, adding that other airports are paying Ryanair to fly passengers into them. 

He said: “The market price for Ryanair flying passengers out of airports is now zero and the Dublin Airport Authority is way off that market price.”

Mr Cawley said the airline had yet to receive a response from Government “but we live in hope”.

Mr Cawley declined at this stage to give a breakdown in relation to passenger numbers for each airport, but stated the airline was promising an additional 635,000 passengers to Shannon per annum to bring the annual number of Ryanair passengers using Shannon to one million.

However, Mr Cawley said that the airports would be able to generate ancillary revenues of €10 per passenger with a profit of €5 per passenger.

Mr Cawley said the provision of the new passengers would not result in any additional capital expenditure at the airports.

He said that in relation to Shannon, the Ryanair proposal of one million passengers per year would deliver 1,000 airport jobs; a €150m spend by 300,000 tourists; 2,500 tourism jobs and €75m in exchequer revenue.

Mr Cawley said Shannon airport had a future, but it must win Ryanair growth. It must be efficient and it must be internationally cost competitive. Mr Cawley said that only Ryanair could deliver growth to Shannon.

A spokesman for the DAA said last night: “As a commercial company, the DAA is committed to incentivising passenger growth, but any agreement with its airline partners has to be sustainable for both the airport and the airline. Giving away services for free is unsustainable for any commercial business.

He said: “Charges at all three DAA airports are highly competitive and this has been confirmed by a range of independent studies. DAA also has in place a range of highly generous incentive schemes to stimulate new routes and additional traffic growth at its three Irish airports.

He added: “Last year, DAA made €14m worth of incentives/support available to its airline customers. At Dublin Airport, for example, airport charges rebates of €1.5m were paid to 30 airlines that grew their business during 2011. Among those that received the rebates were Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian, SAS, Swiss and US Airways.”

Sourced from Irish Examiner

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