Further hike in airport charges ‘possible’

AIRPORT charges could increase further to compensate for falling passenger numbers, according to a leading airline analyst.

Commercial aircraft movements at Dublin Airport fell 2.1% year-on-year last month, while Cork contracted by 8.6% and Shannon fell almost 29%.

Bloxham economist Joe Gill said as Ireland allows its air travel disintegrate, other markets are recovering, as evidenced by a 7.3% rise in north Atlantic traffic over Irish airspace.

“A 30% to 40% rise in airport charges at Shannon and Dublin in the autumn is just another excuse for airlines to ignore or exit Ireland at a rapid rate.

“Alongside the €10 departure tax it sends unequivocal signals to airlines that Ireland has not yet accepted that aviation is a key tool in rebooting a depressed Irish economy. Instead, we suspect more airport charge increases are being calculated to ‘compensate’ for falling passenger numbers.”

Fine Gael recently said the €151.7 million generated by the Government’s €10 travel tax over the last 18 months is far too little to justify the damage it is causing to tourism. But Tourism Ireland chief Niall Gibbons blames the fall on the recession.


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