Ryanair issued 2007 traffic statistics for its Irish routes, which show that the carrier will carry a record 13 million passengers to and from seven Irish airports in 2007.
Ryanair is now the largest carrier of visitors to Ireland on 135 low fare routes from Britain and Europe.
Sadly, while Ryanair’s low fare routes are Irish tourism’s single largest asset, this Government’s failure to deliver low cost competing terminals at its semi state Dublin Airport monopoly is seriously undermining Ireland’s competitiveness.
In 2002, Bertie Ahern promised a competing terminal at Dublin Airport but broke this promise and awarded the second terminal to the DAA monopoly. The DAA’s Terminal 2 has already quadrupled in cost from EUR200m to EUR800m and is ten times more expensive than other terminals in Europe. This has already led to a doubling of parking charges and will lead to a doubling of passenger charges at the DAA monopoly. These unjustified price hikes will damage Irish Tourism.
Speaking today, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Peter Sherrard said:
‘In 2007, Ryanair will carry 13 million passengers through Irish Airports generating a visitor spend of EUR1.4bn for the Irish tourism industry, while sustaining 13,000 jobs in the tourism sector.
‘Low fare growth is the most important driver of Irish tourism however this is now being threatened by rip off price hikes at the DAA monopoly, which are being rubber stamped by a failed Government regulator.
‘To continue to grow, the Irish tourism industry needs competition at the DAA monopoly, not rip off passenger price hikes at its biggest airport’.