Aer Lingus CEO, Christoph Mueller, advised Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey, in Nov-2009 that an increase in passenger charges at Dublin Airport would force it to increase its annual savings target (Irish Independent, 16-Aug-2010). Mr Mueller stated the carrier would be forced to absorb the increase of up to 41% in charges from this year as it would not be possible to pass the increases on to passengers during the “current and expected demand environment”. As a result, Aer Lingus would have to increase its annual savings target from EUR97 million to EUR122 million. The move would also raise the carrier’s annual charges at the airport from approximately EUR62 million p/a to EUR87 million.
Aer Lingus: “In the context of our cost reduction plan, the effect of your direction will be for the savings from staff taking paycuts or even being made redundant, having to be handed over to the DAA just to cover increased airport charges. This cannot have been your intention, however, it will be one of the consequences…At a time when traffic is falling and the industry is seeing a structural change in what consumers are prepared to pay, we find it bizarre that you should, in effect, direct the DAA to increase charges further,” Christoph Mueller, CEO. Source: Irish Independent, 16-Aug-2010.