“Proposed new passenger charges at Shannon make no financial sense”

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has today said the proposed new airport charges of up to 20% make no commercial sense in the current economic climate. He also said that passenger number at the airport have fallen dramatically by 12% last year with further drops expected this year.

Deputy Carey said that the role of the Dublin Airport Authority and their commitment to a robust and commercially viable Shannon Airport must now be called into question.

Deputy Carey said:

“This year and last year are two of the most difficult Shannon Airport has ever faced. Thanks to the misguided government travel tax, Ryanair has significantly curtailed its business through the airport, while transatlantic services have also been affected by the global downturn. The marketing budget promised by successive Fianna Fáil politicians is yet another failed commitment to the region and has never materialised.

Against this background, the DAA are now talking about increasing passenger chargers through the airport – of up to 20% per passenger.

This is incredibly short sighted financial planning and further evidence of the dead hand of the DAA at work in the Mid-West. Leveling yet more charges on passengers will not help kickstart the tourism and business in the region or help sustain and increase passenger numbers in such a difficult economic environment.

Already, we have seen what happens when more taxes and charges are levied on passengers, as in the case of the government’s disastrous €10 travel tax. Ryanair and others have significantly curtailed their business through the airport, with many winter fares doubling.

Passenger numbers at the airport are in freefall and the DAA and the Government needs to address that fact urgently. They need to do so by targeted marketing campaigns, and by ensuring that passengers travelling through the region do so at competitive fares and with reduced charges. Instead the government backed DAA is attempting to financially suffocate the airport.”