Kerry Airport records modest profit for 2012
Kerry Airport has recorded a modest operating profit for last year but it is still heavily reliant on a government subsidy.
In its annual report for 2012, published yesterday, it reported a profit of €1,799. The previous year it had an operating loss of €44,803.
Donegal Airport is the only other airport to have retained its public service obligation (PSO) contract, a subsidy paid by the Government to support flights to and from the capital to the two most geographically remote areas.
Last year was the first full year of the new Kerry to Dublin PSO route, as the new contract with Aer Arann started in November 2011.
Prior to that, Ryanair had held the PSO contract and provided three flights a day between Kerry and Dublin.
Financial controller Basil Sheerin said that maintaining the PSO contract was vital for the future viability of the airport which was still trying to build up consumer confidence since the loss of the three daily services to Dublin in 2010.
"The new service provides two daily flights to Dublin, one in the morning and one in the evening, so there is still a gap there that doesn't suit everyone," Mr Sheerin told the Irish Independent.
Passenger numbers through the airport, for the 12-month period up to December 2012, dropped by 8pc from 310,000 in 2011 to 286,000 last year, mainly due to the loss of its Manchester service as well as a fall in frequency of the Stansted and Frankfurt-Hahn flights.
Turnover was up 26pc from €4.5m to €5.7m. However, administration costs were also up 17pc from €3.7m to €4.4m due to longer operating hours to handle the early and late flights to and from Dublin.