Ryanair to cut 1,600 flights from Dublin Airport next year
Summer 2017 schedule
Ryanair is to reduce seats from Dublin due to a fall-off in UK visitors and the airport becoming "uncompetitive", it says.
The airline, which launched its Irish summer 2017 schedule today, is switching 3pc of its seats away from Dublin as "daa withdraws growth incentives," it claims.
It also cited a post-Brexit drop in UK visitor numbers in its decision.
12 million seats will be offered from Dublin in 2017, a reduction of approximately 300,000 passengers, or 1,600 flights, on this year.
Dublin Airport, however, says its Growth Incentive Scheme remains in place.
"Ryanair's growth at Dublin Airport over the past three years has been supported by a range of incentive schemes," the daa said in a statement expressing its disappointment - "most notably the Growth Incentive Scheme, which remains in place".
Growth Incentive Scheme
The Growth Incentive Scheme pays a rebate in airport charges to airlines that grow their overall business at Dublin, and is open to all scheduled airlines at Dublin Airport.
Since 2011, Dublin Airport has paid €34.2 million in airport charges rebates to airlines under the scheme, according to daa.
Separate incentive schemes are also available to promote new routes.
Despite daa confirming that the scheme remains in place, however, Ryanair says it has not been able to get a guarantee that it will continue into 2017.
"This means that Dublin Airport is becoming uncompetitive," commented Kenny Jacobs, the airline's Chief Marketing Officer. "It incentivises Ryanair to switch growth to other lower cost airports in Europe."
"There’s an incentive each year," Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary added at a press conference in Dublin today. "But because we can’t get a decision on it at the moment, we have to [go ahead and] announce next summer’s schedule."
"We've just announced a 3pc cut in our capacity at Dublin next year."
Contacted by Independent.ie Travel today, Dublin Airport reiterated that its Growth Incentive Scheme remains in place.
14 million seats in 2017
Ryanair will offer 14 million seats from Irish airports in 2017, with 12 million of those from Dublin - where, despite the overall reduction in capacity, it will introduce additional flights to Palma, Reus and Tenerife for the summer season.
Increased flights and frequencies from Shannon (Lanzarote) and Cork (Lanzarote, Malaga) have also been announced today.
“We’d like to thank Ryanair for growing its business significantly at Dublin over the past three years and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them to support their route network from Dublin in the future,” said Dublin Airport's Managing Director, Vincent Harrison.
Year-on-year passenger numbers at Dublin were up 13pc to the end of July.