Capital lands 300 new jobs and 700,000 extra passengers
RYANAIR will bring an extra 700,000 passengers to Dublin next year and create 300 jobs as it launches nine new routes from the capital and increases capacity on existing services.
The airline's boss, Michael O'Leary, praised Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Taoiseach Enda Kenny for scrapping the controversial air travel tax, which he insisted had acted as a major barrier to passenger growth.
The tax will be axed from April and Ryanair has pledged to carry at least one million extra passengers through Irish airports as a result.
Mr O'Leary said the 300 new jobs in Ireland will include 100 pilots and cabin crew, as well as sales staff, engineers and other positions. The outspoken airline chief conceded that even without its extra passenger growth at Dublin, Shannon and Knock, Ryanair would still have added about 120 anyway. But he said the remaining jobs would have gone to other countries in Europe had the tax not been abolished.
The expansion at Dublin and other airports here will also result in an extra 1,000 spin-off jobs being created, he said.
The new routes from Dublin next year will service Almeria, Bari, Basel, Bucharest, Chania, Comiso, Lisbon, Marrakesh and Prague.
Mr Kenny praised the Ryanair plans at Dublin and its decision to bring extra passengers to Irish airports. "I welcome the response by Ryanair," he said, urging other airlines to follow suit. "Ryanair have put their money where their mouth was. The hospitality sector has a real opportunity here, with up to a million extra people coming to our country."