Poor future prospects for Irish regional airports – any opportunity for a private sector saviour?

For a variety of reasons Dublin Airport’s annual passenger traffic may have fallen from 24 million to 18 million over the last three years, but it still dominates the entire Irish aviation landscape, with its influence spreading into Northern Ireland. Amidst arguments over the efficacy of public service obligation routes connecting some of Ireland’s remote airports, the future seems bleak for most of them as Dublin is increasingly accessible by road. Dublin is only three hours from places like Sligo and Knock - and a Metro line to the airport is to be built that would connect at the main rail stations. Calls for some form of privatisation at some of the airports are becoming more strident, but would any investor perceive a long term future for them?

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