Speaking at the launch of Ryanair’s winter 2016 route schedule in Dublin, yesterday, the airline’s chief marketing manager Kenny Jacobs said the company has a good relationship with the Dublin Airport Authority and feels Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has the right approach on the proposed project.
Mr Donohoe has backed the need for a second runway at the country’s main airport, especially if 2015’s strong user numbers are replicated.
The DAA recently reported a record 25 million passengers used Dublin Airport last year.
Asked if Ryanair’s positivity was a “sea change” in thinking, Mr Jacobs said that the DAA’s new plans are more sensible than the previous blueprint.
He said that London’s three main airports — Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted — each need additional runways and Dublin could set a good example in showing how to quickly build a low-cost runway that benefits the national economy.
However, Mr Jacobs said Ryanair would not support the project if it were to be funded by an increase in airport charges for airlines and it must be ensured the overall cost doesn’t exceed €250m and balloon to €500m or higher.
The DAA is expected to make a final decision on the runway later this year and has €250m as its estimated cost.
The move could however, result in an increase in airport charges, at Dublin, of 59c per passenger from the current maximum of €9.87.
His comments coincided with those of Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary who yesterday addressed a European aviation strategy conference in Brussels, chaired by Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune.
Speaking about over-priced airport charges, Mr O’Leary said: “In the last 10 years airport charges rose by 90% at the 10 largest European airports while airline fares dropped 20% over the same period.
"While airlines have reduced their fares, EU passengers continue to be fleeced by excessive airport charges.
“It’s in consumers’ interests to benefit from lower EU airport costs.”
He said that the new airline association, A4E, of which Ryanair is a member – will campaign “for the effective regulation of monopoly airports on behalf of European passengers”.
Ryanair yesterday said its winter 2016 schedule will add 1.2 million new passengers.