Ireland’s Aviation Appeals Panel upheld a complaint from Ryanair and decided that the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) should require the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to introduce differential pricing at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 and new Terminal 2 (The Irish Times, 03-Jun-2010). CAR now has two months to respond to the ruling, which should lead to lower airport charges for users of Terminal 1 and higher charges for users of Terminal 2. However, the decision is non-binding and CAR could choose to ignore the ruling. The decision contradicts a key finding by CAR in its determination on airport charges in Dublin up to 2014. It decided DAA should implement a flat fee across the two terminals.
- Aer Lingus, which is to become T2’s anchor tenant, has stated it will not move to the new terminal if differential pricing is implemented.
- DAA responded stating CAR has considered differential pricing but has ruled it “would be unworkable”. It stated the single charge would be the “fairest way” for passengers to pay for the airport’s services. The authority also questioned how the differential pricing could be applied fairly.
- Ryanair welcomed (02-Jun-2010) the ruling, stating the move is consistent with its long standing position that its passengers should not be forced to pay higher charges to subsidise T2. It will also, for the first time at Dublin Airport, give effect to the user-pays principle. [more]
Dublin Airport Authority: “Dublin airport generates two-thirds of its income from commercial activity and this income directly subsidises passenger charges at the airport. Long-haul passengers, who will be the key users of Terminal 2, should arguably, therefore, pay less under any differential pricing model as their commercial activity subsidises passenger charges to a far greater extent than short-haul passengers,” Company Statement. Source: The Irish Times, 03-Jun-2010.
Ryanair: “Ryanair, the largest user of Dublin Airport, has repeatedly called for a low-cost, efficient facility that would cater to the needs of low-fare passengers. However, the DAA monopoly has ignored our requests and proceeded to build the over-sized and over-specified T2 at a cost of EUR1.2 billion – six times more than the DAA’s original promise of between EUR170 million and EUR200 million. The DAA monopoly has repeatedly ignored user requests for differential pricing between T1 and T2, in an anti-consumer move to force passengers of T1 to pay up to 40% higher fees in 2010 to subsidise the DAA’s gold-plated T2. The DAA’s higher fees to pay for this EUR1.2 billion white elephant are accelerating the collapse of traffic and tourism in Ireland as passengers have become more price sensitive in the current recession. We call on the Aviation Regulator to accept the Panel’s ruling, require the DAA monopoly to introduce differential pricing and reverse the latest fee increases for T1 passengers, and not – as the Regulator did in 2009 – ignore the Panel’s ruling. If the Regulator fails to implement the Panel’s ruling promptly, it will prove that he is unwilling or unfit to protect the interests of consumers against the wishes of the DAA monopoly and its downtown office, the Department of Transport. Ireland can no longer afford a high-cost over-spending airport monopoly or the monopoly protectionist policy of the Department of Transport which is damaging Irish traffic and tourism at a time when most other European airports have returned to growth," Juliusz Komorek, Spokesperson. Source: Ryanair, 02-Jun-2010.