Don’t blame Ryanair for Shannon woes

SHANNON Airport executive Declan Power continues to scapegoat Ryanair for the passenger collapse experienced by the DAA monopoly run Shannon Airport.

However, while Mr Power and his DAA friends have been running Shannon, its traffic has collapsed by over 55% from 3.6 million in 2007, to 1.6 million in 2011.

The reason for this collapse was the DAA’s refusal to extend Ryanair’s low cost base at Shannon (under which Ryanair paid Shannon, despite his suggestion to the contrary), the Government travel tax and a 33% increase in passenger fees at Shannon last November, even as the DAA’s traffic was collapsing.

Over this same five-year period, Ryanair’s traffic has grown 50% from 50m passengers pa to 76m in 2011.

Ryanair has shown that rapid traffic and new route growth is possible at Shannon Airport, but only when there is a low cost base.

It is the high DAA monopoly costs at Shannon Airport that have “driven out” these lusted-after “foreign carriers” from Shannon and it is these same high costs that keep them out of Shannon. Mr Power’s suggestion that it is because they fear competition from Ryanair no longer stands up to scrutiny as Ryanair has just one aircraft remaining at our Shannon base.

The majority of Ryanair’s traffic at Shannon was inbound, not outbound, as wrongly claimed by Mr Power. While Mr Power and his DAA colleagues have been sitting on their hands, traffic at Kerry and Knock airports has grown, thanks to their low cost base.

Maybe Shannon should start this process by addressing their high costs, facing up to the mistakes they have made and looking forward for a solution to the traffic collapse at Shannon, instead of backwards with the sole purpose of trying to blame others for their failure.

Stephen McNamara

Head of Communications

Ryanair Head Office

Dublin Airport

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