Ryanair announced plans to cut 48 weekly flights at Dublin Airport at the start of 2011, with a reduction in frequencies on services to Cork, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Manchester (The Irish Times/RTE News/Irish Examiner, 17-Nov-2010). Dublin-Cork service is to be reduced from twice daily to daily. The carrier stated the cuts are due to higher airport charges, with CEO Michael O'Leary calling on the Irish Government to sell Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2. He also reiterated his call for the government to cut its EUR10 tourist tax “if Ireland is to boost tourism in the country”.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) responded (17-Nov-2010) by stating Ryanair continues to spread untruths in relation to Terminal 2 and passenger charges at Dublin Airport. It stated Terminal 2 and its associated facilities have a construction cost of just over EUR600 million. The terminal opens on 19-Nov-2010. The DAA stated it is impossible to tell how Ryanair has calculated the cuts that it claims it plans to make on individual routes, but based on slot filings and Ryanair’s own timetable, the airline had indicated that it is planning to increase services on many of those routes in winter 2010/11. In relation to the Dublin-Cork route, Ryanair has confirmed to Cork Airport that the main reason for the decision to curtail this service is the fall in passenger numbers due to additional competition offered by road and rail. The DAA added Dublin Airport’s charges are highly competitive and the DAA intends to maintain this competitive advantage relative to comparable airports. Dublin Airport's current passenger charge for 2010 is 25% lower than the average EUR12.50 passenger charge levied in 2008 by comparable European airports such as London Stansted, London Gatwick, Brussels, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Zurich, Vienna, Munich and Oslo. It also expects Dublin Airport to handle more than 18.5 million passengers this year, and this would have been significantly higher if for the impact of volcanic ash. [more]