Friday 19 January 2018

Ryanair turns attention to Stansted as fresh DAA talks stall

Michael O'Leary said Ryanair's outlook remained cautious due to the recession and austerity measures, high fuel costs and tax policies
Michael O'Leary said Ryanair's outlook remained cautious due to the recession and austerity measures, high fuel costs and tax policies
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair has stalled talks with Dublin Airport on plans to deliver millions of extra passengers a year to the capital.

The airline's deputy chief executive, Michael Cawley, told the Irish Independent that Ryanair had engaged in fresh negotiations with the Dublin Airport Authority after a new chief executive, Kevin Toland, took up his role earlier this year.

However, he said that there has been no contact in recent weeks between the two sides on proposals that he says would have resulted in "millions" of additional passengers at Dublin Airport.

Ryanair is the second-biggest carrier at Dublin after Aer Lingus, handling about 7.5 million passengers a year there. Chief executive Michael O'Leary confirmed that talks with Dublin have "pretty much ended".

Ryanair is now focused on talks with Stansted – its single biggest base – with a view to carrying about five million more passengers a year there within about five to 10 years.

REJECTED

In 2011, Ryanair rejected an offer of €60m in discounted airport charges from the Dublin Airport Authority to boost passenger traffic by more than four million over five years. Ryanair wanted €100m in incentives.

"Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport have been increasing for the past two-and-a-half years and we currently are talking to all of our major airline customers, including Ryanair, about the potential to further grow traffic," said a DAA spokesman yesterday.

Mr Cawley was speaking as Ryanair posted a previously anticipated 21pc decline in net profits to €78m for the three months to the end of June.

The fall in profits was impacted by higher fuel costs, the timing of Easter and a strike by French air traffic controllers.

But overall revenue for the period climbed 5pc to €1.34bn, boosted by a 25pc rise in ancillary revenue from extras such as reserved seating, as well as higher credit card charges. Ancillary revenue for the quarter hit €356.5m, but scheduled passenger revenue dipped 1pc to €985.7m. Weaker sterling against the euro also hit the latter figure.

Ryanair has stuck to its full-year forecast of generating a net profit of between €570m and €600m.

Irish Independent

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