independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Ryanair threatens higher fares as Dublin Airport raises charges

Holidaymakers using Dublin Airport could be hit for higher fares next summer after management unveiled a planned hike in charges for airlines.

Ryanair lashed out at plans by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to raise its core airport charges by 0.5pc from next summer – just as the Government's tourism plan 'The Gathering' gets into full swing.

A DAA spokesman said the increase applies to services the authority provides to airlines such as aircraft parking facilities and to passenger charges.

The DAA is also raising the cost it charges airlines for the provision of services for passengers in wheelchairs.

The DAA says it outsources this service and makes no money from it, but says it's mandated under EU law to recoup the full cost of the service from airlines.

The DAA spokesman said the authority had lost about €2m in the past number of years as not enough was being charged for the service.

It also intends to charge airlines that don't use so-called airbridges that funnel passengers from the terminal directly onto the aircraft a higher fee.

Steep

The DAA spokesman said all the changes mean that from next summer it will be charging airlines the maximum €10.67 fee per departing passenger that it's currently permitted to levy by the Commission for Aviation Regulation.

He also said that the DAA hasn't raised its core charges in two years and that the "modest" increase compared favourably to steep price rises being implemented by other transport sectors including bus and rail.

"This modest adjustment will be Dublin Airport's first overall price increase in two years," said DAA strategy director Vincent Harrison.

A Ryanair spokesman said the latest planned price increases "beggar belief" and that the higher costs would be passed on by airlines to passengers.

"It puts a final nail in the coffin for whatever hopes there might have been for the Gathering next year," he said.

However, Ryanair has previously made it clear that it doesn't intend laying on any extra flights to Ireland next year for the Gathering.

A spokesman for Aer Lingus declined to comment.

However, Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller has previously described charges at Dublin Airport as "insane".

Irish Independent

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