March 16: Ryanair announced a further series of route, flight and frequency cuts at Dublin Airport from July, as the impact of the €10 tourist tax and other Government price increases decrease passenger numbers. Ryanair confirmed that these latest cuts were being implemented in response to the decision of the Government-owned Irish Aviation Authority to increase Air Traffic Control charges by 12% this summer.
From July Ryanair will close four routes from Dublin; to Basel, Doncaster, Oporto and Teesside, and reduce frequencies on eight more routes to Aberdeen, Biarritz, Billund, Bournemouth, Carcassonne, East Midlands, Malaga and Rome (Ciampino).
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: “This increase in Government charges is another nail in the coffin of Irish tourism. Already this year the Dublin has increased airport charges, increased wheelchair charges, is double charging for kiosk installation and now the Government allows the IAA to raise ATC charges by 12%, when inflation is at 0%.
“At a time when Governments and airports all over Europe are reducing costs in order to stimulate tourism, the Irish Government is raising costs and introducing taxes, which can only damage tourism.” Needless to say, O’Leary had much more to comment on, especially the performance of the IAA, but none of it very complimentary!