Saturday 25 November 2017

Ryanair's passenger plan doesn't stack up: Deloitte

Gordon Deegan

THE Department of Transport says it has again rejected a Ryanair proposal to bring an extra five million passengers to the state's three airports, claiming the plan still doesn't stack up.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary confirmed yesterday that he repeated an offer to Transport Minister Leo Varadkar last month to create 5,000 jobs and generate the extra passenger growth following a meeting at Dublin Airport.

"The minister seemed very keen on this when we first proposed it, but once he appointed consultants to examine the proposal, we knew it was doomed," said Mr O'Leary.

"We'll offer the deal again at the end of this year."

The department hired consultancy Deloitte to examine the proposals.

A spokesman for the minister said yesterday: "The Government is still very keen to abolish the travel tax but we won't do it for nothing. Unfortunately, Ryanair was not willing to offer even one extra passenger into Ireland, in return for the €30m tax cut offered. They also wanted a 40pc reduction in the airport charge for 10 years."

Guarantee

"We would certainly be willing to abolish the travel tax in return for a guarantee of one million extra inbound passengers from our key tourist markets, never mind five million," he added. "But Ryanair hasn't really been interested in cutting a deal."

The spokesman said that the fresh offer by Ryanair was rejected "as it failed for exactly the same reasons as last time around".

Deloitte is understood to have told the department that much of the growth proposed by Mr O'Leary would have occurred regardless and that most of Ryanair's passengers are outbound. The Ryanair demands would also damage the DAA's financial position, Deloitte said.

Mr O'Leary disputed all of these findings yesterday, pointing out that 55pc of Ryanair's passengers that use Irish airports are inbound.

Irish Independent

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