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Ryanair rejects DAA's €60m discount offer

Ryanair has rejected a €60m-plus offer of discounts on airport charges from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) in return for guaranteeing a boost in new passenger traffic to Dublin, Cork and Shannon, the state-owned airport operator has claimed.

The DAA lashed out at the carrier after negotiations that began in December were terminated yesterday on what it said was Ryanair's insistence that it receive €100m in discounts to agree to a deal.

The DAA said it originally offered €50m in discounts to Ryanair if the carrier delivered an additional four million in passengers at Dublin Airport over the next five years.

It said it later raised the offer to €60m. Under its terms, Ryanair had offered to base an extra five aircraft at Dublin from April and also wanted the rent it pays to the DAA halved for its head office.

"Our incentives are structured to ensure that airlines cannot qualify for tens of millions of euro in discounts unless they deliver new passengers," said DAA chief executive Declan Collier.

"But Ryanair gave no commitment on how many of its projected four million passengers would be additional traffic or what percentage would be inbound tourists."

Last night, Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary claimed the original offer he made in December to the DAA to bring in additional traffic to Dublin under the authority's so-called Transfer Incentive Scheme (TIS) was solely done to expose what he alleged was the "illegal and anti-competitive" nature of the TIS.

The TIS is being used by the DAA to encourage airlines to transfer passengers via Dublin to other destinations. The DAA operates a different scheme, called Grow, that offers incentives to airlines to increase passenger traffic through new routes.

Ryanair is the biggest carrier at Dublin, accounting for seven-and-a-half million of its roughly 18.5 million passengers last year.

Irish Independent