A competitive route fund for Irish airports is being viewed by Limerick Chamber as a potential major breakthrough for balanced regional development and locations such as Shannon Airport.
Already heralded as a factor in securing Shannon’s first ever service to Vienna, the €2.5m fund was announced in Budget 2020. Limerick Chamber has pinpointed Frankfurt as “a key business route” for Shannon Airport post Brexit.
CEO of Limerick Chamber, Dee Ryan said, “Shannon and, indeed Knock, Kerry and Cork airports are key instruments of economic growth for their respective regions. However, Shannon and other airports’ ability to compete for new routes has been severely restricted by the anti-competitive dominance of Dublin Airport, which currently controls 96% of all passenger growth coming into Ireland”.
“This is a very important moment for not just Shannon and the other airports across the regions but for balanced regional development. Limerick Chamber, together with Ennis, Galway and Shannon chambers, recently published a study by Copenhagen Economics which showed if Dublin Airport is the only airport that is achieving real growth, it will be next to impossible for regional economies outside of the Greater Dublin Area to grow,” Limerick Chamber President Eoin Ryan outlined.
He added, “It is now up to Shannon and other airports in the regions to make a compelling case as to why route support funding for their airports will reap the kind of dividend required for the funds to be released.”
Meanwhile Dublin Airport Authority (daa) has said it is hugely disappointed by a decision from the aviation regulator to reduce passenger charges at Dublin Airport over the next five years. The Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) has set a price of €7.87 for the period, which is 18% below Dublin Airport’s flat pricing proposal of €9.65.
As a result, passengers and airlines will save €320m. However the daa maintained that the move will impact on their €2 billion investment and development plan, including new boarding gates, aircraft parking stands, an upgraded security area and improvements to other customer facilities.