Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller announced staff won't face further cuts until “at least next year”, but said he will push to secure a reduction in what he describes as "insane" passenger charges at Dublin Airport (Irish Independent, 08-May-2011). Mr Mueller said incoming tourism was “urgently needed” and decried high airport charges approved by the Commission for Aviation Regulation in 2009. The Dublin Airport Authority was allowed to raise its per-passenger charge at the airport to a maximum of EUR10.44 this year from EUR7.39 in 2009 in order to cover the cost of the EUR1.2 billion capital expenditure programme, which includes the airport’s new T2. Mr Mueller said the airline will pay EUR35 million more in airport charges this year than in 2010, money the CEO said could rather make available to shareholders. Ryanair CFO pressed Aer Lingus’ board to return some cash pile to shareholders. The LCC has a 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus: "I believe that in the darkest hour of Ireland, where we urgently need incoming tourism, to increase airport taxes by 39% is insane. T2 looks good, but it cannot develop itself into a job-killing machine and that needs to be taken into account." Christoph Mueller, CEO. Source: Irish Independent, 08-May-2011.