Ryanair plans 12.5% cut in passenger numbers at Shannon Airport in favour of increased traffic at Cork

Ryanair has cut the number of passengers it plans to carry through Shannon next year by 12.5%, while increasing slightly its target at Cork and slightly reducing numbers at Dublin airport.

Announcing its summer schedule for 2017, the airline said the decision of the UK to quit the EU will weaken the number of UK visitors visiting the Republic.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary had been a leading proponent of the UK staying in the EU.

Since the Brexit vote, sterling has slumped against the euro, which has made it more expensive for visitors from Britain to travel across the Irish Sea.

However, the airline has revealed that Shannon will be affected disproportionately compared with Dublin and Cork, and reduced its target number of passengers to only 700,000 in 2017 at Shannon, sharply down from a target of “close to” 800,000 passengers this year.

“Our Shannon routes to Paris Beauvais and Memmingen will not operate next summer, while we’ve slightly reduced our London Stansted and Manchester routes due to weaker demand from UK visitors post-Brexit,” Ryanair said.

It said it will have 14 routes at Shannon and estimates it will support 650 on-site jobs, based on the number of passengers, and increase the frequency of flights to Lanzarote to two a week.

At Cork, it has set a target of 860,000 passengers, which is slightly higher than this year, and announced a 2.4% reduction in passenger numbers at Dublin.

It plans to carry 12m people through Dublin in 2017, down from 12.3m this year, across 85 routes.

It plans to operate 17 routes through Cork next year, increasing frequency of flights to both Lanzarote and Malaga to five a week.

Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs attributed plans to carry fewer passengers through Dublin to the airport deciding to discontinue an incentive plan.

Dublin Airport, however, said all incentive programmes remained in place for all airlines.

“We are disappointed that Ryanair has decided to reduce some of its capacity from Dublin next year,” said Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison.

“Ryanair’s growth at Dublin airport over the past three years has been supported by a range of incentive schemes, most notably the ‘Growth Incentive Scheme’, which remains in place.

“Since 2011, under the growth scheme Dublin airport has paid €34.2m in airport charges rebates to airlines.”


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