REGULATOR REWARDS INCOMPETENCE OF THE DAA
22% PRICE INCREASE FOR PEOPLE TO ENTER OR LEAVE THE "RIP OFF REPUBLIC"
Ryanair, Ireland's largest airline today (Thursday, 29th September 2005) criticised the Aviation Regulator's determination, which allows the Dublin Airport Authority - the people responsible for queues and price gouging at Dublin Airport - to further increase charges by over 22% from January 2006, at a time when inflation is running at less than 3%.
This massive increase in passenger charges comes just eight months after the Dublin Airport Monopoly increased car-parking charges by 50% on April Fools Day this year.
Ryanair opposes these unnecessary and unjustified price increases on the following grounds:
1. The Commission for Aviation Regulation has already found that Dublin Airport is 50% more inefficient than its peer airports, yet instead of forcing the DAA to reduce charges, the Regulator rewards this inefficient airport with a 22% plus price increase.
2. This increase will come into effect on 1 January 2006 and will yield a further EUR20m per annum in profit to the DAA while failing to address any of the queues, congestion, or overcrowding which Irish passengers and visitors have suffered all Summer long.
3. A 22% price increase, at a time when inflation is less than 3% is entirely unjustified.
4. Rewarding the DAA with a 22% price increase years before any of its new facilities will be delivered, could only happen in a regulated semi-state monopoly.
Criticizing this latest failure by the Aviation Regulator to encourage efficiency at Dublin Airport, Ryanair's Chief Executive, Michael O'Leary said.
"This is just the latest example of the "Rip Off Republic" at work. A Government appointed Regulator allows a Government protected airport monopoly to increase passenger charges by 22% at a time when inflation is just 3%.
"Had Bertie Ahern's Government honoured its election promise and allowed an independent terminal to be built, there would be no increase in passenger charges, because the developer would not be able to levy any charges on passengers until the second terminal is developed and being used by passengers. The DAA monopoly which has so mismanaged the first terminal now gets to charge 22% more in advance, for facilities that haven't even been built yet.
"Finally, Ryanair continues to call on the Minister for Transport and the DAA to fund its capital expenditure programme by disposing of the EUR700m worth of useless investments it has in Birmingham Airport, Dusseldorf Airport, Hamburg Airport and the Great Southern Hotels Group. These assets have underperformed and contribute nothing to Irish airports or Irish tourism. If these assets were disposed of, and the EUR700m released, then this would fund the entire capital expenditure programme of the DAA without any need for Irish passengers or Irish consumers to be ripped off yet again.
"It is a pity that in this "Rip Off Republic", it's Irish passengers and consumers who suffer the price increases, the long queues, and the unsafe congestion, while the protected airport monopoly and the Government appointed Regulator sit back and allow 22% price increases at a time when inflation is just 3%."