By John Ensor •
Updated: 31 Oct 2023 • 12:06
Image of Aer Lingus aircraft.
IN a situation Aer Lingus has called ‘completely unacceptable the airline might have to reconsider its flight routes, focusing more on Manchester departures than Dublin. This change comes after the Dublin airport officials expressed their intentions to decrease flight numbers next year.
Recently, Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) indicated their plan to cut back on flights to ensure they stay within the approved passenger cap for the airport’s second runway. This cap is set at 32 million individuals annually, according to Xtra.ie.
To sidestep potential penalties for overstepping the limit, DAA approached Aer Lingus with a request to trim some of their services. Aer Lingus responded, labelling the proposal as ‘completely unacceptable’. Now, the airline is re-evaluating its plans for the upcoming year.
It has been touted that Manchester Airport might step in to compensate for Dublin’s reduced flight schedule. This would help bridge the revenue gap caused by the decreased number of flights.
Ireland’s flagship airline has voiced its displeasure with the proposed flight reductions. Lynne Embleton, the airline’s chief, stated that they had been in discussions with the DAA regarding the reduction of their ‘ad hoc’ flights for the following year. ‘Ad hoc’ flights, which represent about two per cent of the airline’s total flights, are special routes not part of the regular schedule. For instance, they might cater to sports fans attending overseas matches.
Ms Embleton remarked, ‘It’s a frustrating situation we’re in. The passenger cap issue should have been addressed by now. It is shooting Ireland in the toe by proposing this cap. The dialogue with the DAA is over 2024 and the ad hoc movements, and we’ll be making our views known to them in meetings over the coming weeks. This is an issue that needs to be resolved.’
Additionally, she criticised the limitations imposed on the airport’s second runway usage. ‘The airport spent €320 million on a new runway and we’re not able to fly as much as we should be able to fly with that. So it’s not proving a good investment right now,’ she concluded.
On the other hand, the DAA mentioned the possibility of travel demand next year nearing, or even surpassing, the passenger cap. They pointed out that there’s an established procedure under EU law for slot coordination for aircraft. The Irish Aviation Authority oversees this in Ireland. ‘This forum will be used to discuss capacity management measures to be applied from early 2024,’ the DAA explained.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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