Ryanair: DAA changes 'a missed opportunity'

Ryanair has criticised the Government’s failure to sell Shannon Airport to the private sector.

It comes after today's announcement that Shannon Airport was to be decoupled from the DAA, with the creation of a new entity to promote tourism and enterprise agencies in the mid-west region.

In a statement Ryanair described the decision as "like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic - the ship still sank".

"Transferring Shannon from one failed semi-state, the DAA, to another, SFADCO ( Shannon Free Airport Development Company), means that there will be no real change or reform nor radical cost reduction or efficiencies, but rather lots of continuing political interference and bureaucratic mismanagement," the statement said.

"Shannon’s traffic has fallen from over 3.6m in 2007 to 1.6m in 2012 and Ryanair does not believe that a semi-state company like SFADCO will make Shannon either cost competitive or efficient."

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara described the "transfer of Shannon from one semi-state quango to another" as a missed opportunity to introduce real change and reform as well as "real competition between the Govt-owned airports".

“The Govt’s failure to sell Shannon Airport is also a missed opportunity to generate real proceeds with which to pay down either the DAA’s or the Irish Govt’s huge debts.”

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