22-Nov-2010 10:19 AM

Dublin's T2 opens to uproar from Ryanair

Ireland's Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) opened Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 on 19-Nov-2010:

  • Terminal funding: DAA stated the new terminal was funded through a combination of commercial revenues, aeronautical charges and borrowings as the DAA receives no funding whatsoever from the Irish Government. DAA Chairman David Dilger stated the new terminal is a EUR600 million investment in Ireland's future. More than 1000 new jobs will be created with the opening of the new terminal
  • Airlines: T2 will be home to Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and US Airways. The new terminal is opening for operations on a phased basis, as agreed with the DAA’s airline customers. Aer Lingus has already started putting selected flights through the terminal. It expects to operate a range of flights into and out of the new terminal over the coming weeks, as it prepares for the full transfer of its scheduled operations from Jan-2010. Etihad Airways will operate its first full scheduled service from 23-Nov-2010, when it transfers its Dublin operation to T2. The terminal will open to the public on 23-Nov-2010 to coincide with the Etihad move. DAA had originally hoped to launch services from the terminal as early as Oct-2010 (The Irish Times, 19-Nov-2010). The terminal has the capacity to handle 15 million passengers p/a (Irish Independent, 20-Nov-2010).
  • US customs: T2 will also house a new US pre-clearance facility that will allow passengers on US-bound flights clear all customs, immigration, agriculture and security checks before leaving Ireland. The Dublin preclearance facility will open in 2011 and US carriers will transfer into Terminal 2 to coincide with this timeframe. Trans-Atlantic services were originally to commence on 07-Dec-2010 before the delay in the opening of the US pre-clearance facility.
  • Retail: T2 also contains almost 40 new shops and food and beverage outlets, combining the best of Irish and international retail. The vast majority of the outlets will be operated by third party concessionaires and the income from this retail space, which is fully let, directly subsidises passenger charges at Dublin Airport.
  • Airport charges: Mr Dilger also defended the airport's airline and passenger charges, stating competitive airport charges have been a cornerstone of Dublin airport’s development in recent years and DAA will continue to provide excellent value for money for passengers and airline customers. [more]

Ryanair criticised (19-Nov-2010) the opening of the terminal, stating it marks the "death of Irish tourism". The carrier again called on the terminal to be "mothballed" as it has been delivered 12 months late and five times over its original budget of “between EUR170 million and EUR200 million”. DAA denies the terminal cost it EUR1.2 billion. CEO Michael O’Leary stated the terminal explains why the country is “broke” (Bloomberg, 20-Nov-2010). The LCC will not be moving to Terminal 2. [more]

Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller welcomed the new terminal, stating the older terminal is “too small”.

Dublin Airport Authority: “Designed with the passenger in mind, T2 has been planned and built for the long-term. The new terminal is the centrepiece of a five-year investment programme to expand, improve and upgrade Dublin Airport. Our passengers told us that they wanted better facilities and we have delivered them. Dublin Airport’s current passenger charge is 25% lower than the average charge levied in 2009 by comparable European airports such as Brussels, Copenhagen, Stansted, Gatwick, Lisbon, Zurich, Vienna, Munich and Oslo,” David Dilger, Chairman. Source: Dublin Airport Authority, 19-Nov-2010.

Ryanair: “The opening of the DAA’s EUR1.2 billion T2 white elephant officially marks the death of Irish Tourism. It is fitting that this unnecessary Taj Mahal will now become the welcome lounge for IMF [International Monetary Fund] officials at Dublin Airport. The DAA’s EUR1.2 billion T2 Taj Mahal perfectly represents ‘modern Ireland’ because it’s an over-specified unnecessary EUR1.2 billion bankrupt property development that the Irish airlines don’t want and Irish tourism can’t afford to pay for. The failed DAA airport monopoly must now be broken up since it is unfit for purpose and has destroyed Irish tourism with this EUR1.2 billion T2 Taj Mahal,” Michael O'Leary, CEO. Source: Ryanair, 19-Nov-2010.

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