17-Oct-2013 7:10 AM

Ryanair to growth traffic at Irish arports by over 1m annual pax from Apr-2014

Ryanair announced (16-Oct-2013) plans to grow its traffic at its Irish airports by at least one million passengers p/a from Apr-2014 in a direct response to the Irish Government Budget announcement that the EUR3 travel tax (which applies only to air passengers) will be scrapped in Apr-2014. Ryanair highlighted that since the travel tax was introduced in Jan-2009, traffic at the main Irish airports had declined from 30.5 million passengers in 2008 to 23.5 million in 2012. Ryanair said it "believes that much of this traffic can now be recovered thanks to the abolition of the travel tax, which makes Ireland a more competitive and attractive destination for inbound visitors, particularly those on short flights from the UK and Continental Europe". Ryanair said it would now respond positively to the initiative and announce plans to grow traffic to/from its Irish airports by at least 1 million passengers p/a from Apr-2014. Ryanair has invited all the main Irish airports – Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry – to meetings in Dublin this week to finalise these growth plans and how it can be split between the airports. These one million new passengers (up to 500,000 visitors) will deliver more visitors than The Gathering in 2013 and will lead to the creation of at least 1000 new jobs at these Irish airports, according to Ryanair, which said it expects traffic growth to be focused on a range of new routes and additional frequencies on existing routes. Ryanair’s Michael Cawley said: “Ryanair warmly welcomes the Government’s decision to repeal the €3 travel tax. This travel tax (originally €10) in 2009 caused Irish air travel and tourism to suffer precipitous losses in recent years. The repeal of the air travel tax helps restore Ireland’s competitiveness and attractiveness to overseas visitors from the UK and Continental Europe in particular. In response to yesterday’s budget, Ryanair will engage over the next 2 days with all of our Irish airport partners to see how and where we can add new routes or additional frequencies on existing routes, and deliver at least 1m new passengers p.a. at these Irish airports from April 2014, which will create over 1000 new jobs as a direct result of the Government’s decision to scrap the visitor tax. Subject to final negotiation on new routes and additional frequencies on existing routes with the individual airports, we hope to be in a position to announce details of new route and traffic growth plans at the Irish airports over the coming weeks.” [more - original PR]

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