bmi reportedly plans to decrease London Heathrow-Dublin frequency to four times daily and remove its aircraft currently based at Dublin Airport for the route from 28-Mar-2010, as part of its mainline operations restructure – see Route Changes Table for more information (Irish Times/RTE News, 12-Jan-2010). The removal of the aircraft will also result in the closure of its cabin crew base at the airport. bmi stated the reduced frequency is the result of “persistent challenges and downturn facing the global aviation industry and the sustained UK recession”.
Ryanair blamed (12-Jan-2010) the closure of bmi’s Dublin Airport base on the Irish Government’s EUR10 tourist tax and the recent direction by the Irish Department of Transport to increase Dublin Airport charges by 40% from Jan-2010 onwards. The carrier stated these price increases have made Dublin an expensive and uncompetitive tourist gateway. Ryanair expects passenger numbers to fall 11% year-on-year in Dublin in 2010, to 18 million, after falling 17.5% in 2009, to 20 million. [more]
Ryanair: “The Government and the DAA monopoly are entirely responsible for today’s decision by bmi to cut flights, jobs and traffic at Dublin Airport. More cuts at Dublin are inevitable, as Irish traffic and tourism continues to be damaged by the government’s EUR10 tourist tax and the Dept of Transport’s recent decision to order a 40% increase in Dublin Airport’s passenger charges. Irish tourism continues to suffer visitor and jobs losses while the Dept of Transport behaves like the downtown office of the DAA monopoly," Spokesperson. Source: Ryanair, 12-Jan-2010.