Monday 23 October 2017

Aer Lingus, Ryanair and DAA drop fees appeal bid

Ryanair, Aer Lingus and the DAA are unhappy with the regulators decision to put a cap on 2015-19 charges that is 19pc lower than the previous cap
Ryanair, Aer Lingus and the DAA are unhappy with the regulators decision to put a cap on 2015-19 charges that is 19pc lower than the previous cap
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), Ryanair and Aer Lingus have dropped an application for an appeal panel to review a decision of the aviation regulator on airport charges at Dublin.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said he won't establish a panel as a result.

The DAA and the airlines are unhappy with the regulator's decision to put a cap on 2015-2019 charges that is 19pc lower than the previous cap.

A DAA spokesman confirmed that the authority, Aer Lingus and Ryanair had sent a joint letter to Mr Donohoe withdrawing their requests for an Appeal Panel. "The joint letter was not an endorsement of either the current regulatory process, or the outcome of the recent final determination on airport charges," the spokesman said.

The fear in some quarters is that the low charges for services such as aircraft parking and airbridges will make it harder to keep the airport up to date.

"We believe this significant additional reduction is unwarranted," DAA chairman Padraig O'Riordain told the Oireachtas Transport Committee this week.

Mr O'Riordan feared it "will inhibit the development of Dublin Airport as the key gateway to the country and materially reduce the DAA's ability to return dividends to the State, with this value being transferred to private airlines".

The DAA and the airlines said part of the reason behind the withdrawal is that Mr Donohoe is establishing a review of how airport charges are regulated.

"The current appeal process is recognised to be inadequate and will be subject to a detailed review," Aer Lingus told the Irish Independent.

"We look forward to participating fully in the forthcoming review of airport charges," the airline added.

A Ryanair spokesperson said the airline withdrew because it was "dissatisfied and frustrated with the appeals process".

Irish Independent

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