A spat between low-cost carrier Ryanair and Dublin Airport (DUB) has broken out after the airline accused the daa of “mismanagement” and “vanity projects”.
On September 21, 2023, Ryanair published a video and a social media post outlining its grievances and threatening to remove 17 routes and move 19 of the carrier’s newest, environmentally friendly aircraft to other European airports.
Dublin Airport later released a press release hitting back at the airline and “categorically denied false claims” made by Ryanair.
Ryanair claims Dublin Airport is planning to “waste $266 million of taxpayers’ money on a pointless underground tunnel to nowhere” and is increasing airport charges by 45%.
The carrier also claims that the daa are “unwinding” the government’s work on the Traffic Recovery Support Scheme (TRSS) scheme, which aims to recover passenger traffic to Dublin Airport.
It also says the airport offers airlines “no incentives to grow traffic” or “environment incentives to reward investment in quieter, more fuel-efficient aircraft”.
“daa’s tunnel vision is bad for passengers, bad for jobs, bad for connectivity, and bad for growing the Irish economy,” a spokesperson for Ryanair said in a statement.
In response the daa denied that airport charges will increase by 45% next year, stating that they will in fact only increase by 6% in 2024.
“Regulated charges at Dublin Airport, which are set by the aviation regulator, the IAA (formerly CAR), and not daa,” Dublin Airport said in a statement.
Today Ryanair announces Dublin airport will lose 17 routes & 19 enviro friendly aircraft due to DAA 45% increase in costs.— Ryanair (@Ryanair) September 21, 2023
Kenny Jacobs, daa’s CEO, was clearly frustrated at Ryanair’s claims and issued a response directed at the airline.
“I am surprised and disappointed that Ryanair would seek to reconfigure its based aircraft at Dublin Airport this winter when they could pay even lower ultra-low-cost charges if they choose to avail of the suite of sustainability incentives, we have proposed for 2024. I am baffled why any airline with sustainability ambitions would choose to turn down the opportunity to operate lower CO₂ emission and less noisy aircraft at Dublin Airport by turning down the new discount schemes. The Ryanair decision to reduce their MAX fleet at Dublin Airport next winter is adding to their cost base when by actually increasing the MAX fleet they would in fact pay even less in 2024 than they will in 2023,” Jacobs wrote.
Jacob’s advised Ryanair to “redo their sums and more importantly study the range of sustainability incentives proposed at Dublin Airport” rather than “depending on back of a scratch card mathematics”.
Jacobs added: ““Ryanair’s claim that Dublin Airport offers no incentives to airlines is also FALSE. A traffic recovery scheme is in place at Dublin Airport that has worked incredibly well and has facilitated the speedy 100% bounce back in activity at Dublin Airport post-Covid. This scheme will remain in place for another 6 months, including the winter period that Ryanair is focused on. As the biggest beneficiary of the TRSS scheme, we can understand why Ryanair would like to see it remain in place beyond next March, but we are happy that Dublin Airport’s growth has recovered to pre-pandemic levels and we do not need to incentivize new growth given Dublin Airport has a planning capacity limit of 32 million passengers per annum”.
The daa also said it was untrue that it has no plan to invest in new and better infrastructure at Dublin Airport and that it had already announced significant capital infrastructure ambitions for both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
“Ryanair’s claim that an underpass is not needed at Dublin Airport is, once again, FALSE. The Underpass is essentially a safety project, which will contribute to effective and efficient airfield operations and maintain operations in the West Apron. We have reviewed all options, including solutions in place at other European airports, and both the aviation regulator and daa agree the underpass solution is the optimum one from a safety perspective and we never compromise on safety,” Jacobs concluded.
The daa finished its statement announcing that details about a new low emissions discount are due to be circulated to airline customers in the coming days and therefore Ryanair’s claims were “premature”.