AER LINGUS said the days of zero fares are over as they did not produce profitable business.
The airline’s chief executive, Christoph Mueller, was speaking to the Irish Travel Agents Association.
Aer Lingus has shelved its low-cost model and is not reverting to offering rock bottom fares.
“We abandoned the low-cost model entirely. We haven’t stimulated demand with this [strategy] since January of this year,” Mr Mueller said. “We haven’t seen a zero fare on Aer Lingus because we believe that it is not sustainable.”
Ryanair said it will continue with its business model of offering “the lowest fares available and guarantee no fuel surcharge”.
“Fares are dictated by customer demand. Ryanair always offers the lowest fares and if demand dictates free fares then Ryanair will offer them,” said a Ryanair spokesman.
Also it is understood that talks between Dublin Airport and Air India are continuing on the airline choosing Dublin as its European hub. Despite reports in the Indian press that the deal has already been signed, sources close to the deal said that it could be the first quarter of next year before anything is finalised.
Reports in the Indian press said that Air India has resorted to closing its hub in Frankfurt and routing all its operations through Dublin, which is 40% cheaper than Frankfurt.
It would be a major coup for Dublin Airport if it managed to bag the Air India deal as it could see more transatlantic flights from Ireland.
Air India is considering Dublin as a hub for US-bound flights. Other European airports are also in contention, however, such as Copenhagen, Denmark, and Vienna, Birmingham and Barcelona.
Air India would likely use the new Terminal 2 which opened last week. This would enable Air India’s passengers to clear US immigration and customs in Dublin.
Dublin has a key advantage over other airports as it is the only European airport where passengers can clear immigration for the US.
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