Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas to all my readers

     I would like to wish all my readers a Very Happy Christmas and Prosperous 2012


Monday, 19 December 2011

Germanwings Irish Promotional Video ©

Germanwings is promoting ‘The Green’ tourist product of Ireland, following on its announcement on the 19th of September it was increasing capacity on the Cologne/Bonn-Dublin route by 25% for Summer 2012 with an additional weekly frequency being added to the schedule, for a total of four weekly flights (TravelDaily News 19th September 2011). The carrier is taking part in co-operative marketing with Tourism Ireland.

It will be interesting to see how the Germanwings brand develops in the Irish market in the context of the new Germanwings/Lufthansa co-operation announced on the 14th of December. Their could be the potential to add routes from Hanover and Stuttgart at some future point.

Interestingly in 2004 the airline intended to launch Stuttgart to Dublin but it not proceed as Hapag Lioyd Express where operating on the route.

Summer 2012 will see a significant increase in capacity between Germany and Ireland Aer Lingus is to increase frequency on Dublin-Stuttgart from four to five times weekly, Lufthansa is to increase capacity on the Dublin-Frankfurt route to 3 daily A321s (800 additional weekly seats), and re-launch the weekly Munich route, and two new routes from Dusseldorf to Dublin and Ireland West Knock Airport.

Tourism Ireland stated Germany is the third most important market for visitors to Ireland with 379,000 visitors in 2010 generating €162 million in revenues on an All-Island basis (Tourism Ireland 28th April 2011).



Irish Aviation Research Institute © 19th December 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Irish Airlines Report November Traffic ©

Aer Lingus announced that it carried 768,000 passengers in November up 8.8%, with the airline carrying 75,000 long-haul passengers up 4.2% with a load factor of 75% up 3.1%. The airline carried 624,000 short-haul passengers up 7.4% with a load factor of 75.6% up 3% and its Aer Lingus Regional Franchise operation carried 69,000 passengers up 30.2%.These figures as usual exclude passengers carried on the United Airlines Washington Dulles-Madrid joint-venture route.

Ryanair announced that it carried 4.68 million passengers in November down 8% with a load factor of 80% and in the rolling 12 months to the end of November it carried 76.7 million passengers. The 8% reduction, is an improvement on the 10% flagged reduction in passenger numbers as a result of the carrier parking 80 Boeing 737-800s.

Ryanair is to expand in the Irish Market for summer 2012 with the airline to launch a new route from Pisa Florence to Cork operating twice weekly from April 2012 and four new routes from Bergamo, Beauvais, Frankfurt Hahn, Girona to Ireland West Knock Airport from March 2012. These new routes are being supported by Tourism Ireland new €9 million marketing fund.

Ryanair continues its expansion across Europe with a new base announced in Billund with two Boeing 737-800s five new routes (19 in total) commencing in March 2012. The airline has announced 2 new routes from Bergamo, 6 new routes from East Midlands, 3 new routes from Frankfurt Hahn, 4 new routes from Glasgow Prestwick and 5 new routes from Pisa Florence including Cork to commence in summer 2012. 

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 7th December 2011 All Rights Reserved. 

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 7th December 2012

Friday, 25 November 2011

The tale of two airports: Charleroi Vs Cork ©

Charleroi Airport
The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary “Airports are in competition with each other across Europe. Ryanair doesn't really care whether the airport is in Charleroi, Barcelona or Manchester" (IN FOCUS: Changing role for airports 25th November). The Ryanair CEO reiterated this statement with the half year results, stating that 100 existing airports served and 30 new airports where competing for business for new bases and routes.

The Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Muller stated he would back the sale of Cork and Shannon airports, as it would be a 'Moment of Truth' in terms of their business case (Irish Indepedent 1st March 2011).

Therefore the outcome of the Booz and Company review of Irish airports which is expected to be completed in the next few weeks will lay the basis for a new airport policy, which is expected to transform Cork and Shannon airports in an increasingly competitive airport environment. The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar stated his objective is “To break up the monopoly that is there and to free Cork and Shannon as much as possible from the control of Dublin”, (Cork Independent 27TH October 2011).

Cork Airport

Recently in the media local interests in Cork and Shannon have put their cases forward ahead of the review. Interestingly according to data of ACI Europe 2010 77% of EU airports are publicly owned and 14% public-private partnership and 9% are private.

Brussles South Charleroi Airport Traffic

Passengers per year
2001773 431-
20021 271 979increase64,45%
20031 803 587increase41,19%
20042 034 797increase12,81%
20051 873 349decrease8,61%
20062 166 360increase15,64%
20072 458 255increase13,47%
20082 957 026increase20,28%
20093 937 187increase33,14%
20105 195 372increase32%

Source:, BSCA.

        Cork Airport Traffic

YoY %

Source:, DAA Annual Reports.
There are similar characteristics between Brussels South Charleroi and Cork, firstly in 2008 both airports where impacted by the introduction of air travel taxes in 2008 and 2009, secondly both airports have a number of competing airports within their market catchment, thirdly both airports had capex spend in the last 10 years to cater for passenger traffic growth Brussels South Charerloi €100 million and Cork Airport €144 million.

The Brussels South Charleroi has a market catchment of 11.5 million people within 1.5 hour drive of the airport, with competition from Amsterdam, Lille, Liege and Paris CDG, Its charging structure is market driven by competition and yardstick, with incentives based on the private investor principle (Airport Business 2009).  

Cork Airport has a market catchment of 1.2 million people within 1.5 hour drive of the airport, with competition from Kerry, Shannon and Waterford. Its charging structure is regulated by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (Study on Competition between Airports Final Report Volume 2 Country Reports EC-Directorate Transport 2002).
As the information from passenger stats relieve that Charleroi Airport has been growing by over 25% per year. A key driver of  traffic growth has been the change of ownership from a public owned Walloon government to a public/private model in which SAVE the operator of Venice's Marco Polo airport acquired a 27.65% stake in December 2009 for €11.2 million.

A report by NBB stated Charleroi airport contributed €60.8 million in valued added to the Belgian economy in 2006 with 922 direct employees and 1,065 indirect employees with a multiplier effect of 2.16 jobs.  

In 2008 Charleroi Airport opened a new terminal with a capacity of 5 million passengers which market itself as Belgium’s ‘Friendly Airport’, and is continually adding new customer services and is served by Jetair, Jet4you, Ryanair, Wizzair whom are adding new aircraft and routes to the base.

In 2010 Brussles South Charleroi Airport Won the Anna.Aero €Euro ANNIE Prize "Airport Traffic Growth Award 3-5 million Category" reflecting the 33% growth in traffic to almost 4 million passengers in 2009. This year Charleroi achieved 2nd place in the World Airport Skytrax Awards 2011 Best LCC Airport handling over 5 million passengers up to the end of October, and six new routes have been announced by Jetairfly and Ryanair to commence for summer 2012.  

In a highly competitive airport market environment the airport's key marketing message is that passengers necessarily have no time to waste, as the shoebox terminal design allows passengers to cross in 12 minutes flat (David Guering BSCA Business Development Manager Actu CCI 2009)

In conclusion the cost competitiveness gap between Cork and other European airports of average size needs to be closed in order for it compete for growth on an equal basis, faciliated by a sustainable recovery in the domestic economy, although Euro 2012 in June will create an artifical spike in demand in the Ireland-Poland market.

The Cork Chamber and Tourism Ireland have a key role to play to attract new airlines and routes to Cork. The new ownership structure needs to unlock the value of Cork and Shannon Airports for their regions, while enabling them to compete on a European basis as the airline industry conslidates at an rapid rate.

I enclose a link to an interesting article outling SAVE's Brussels South Charleroi Airport Development Strategy go to link :

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 25th November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Ireland West Knock Airport goes from strength to strength ©

Ireland West Knock Airport is set to go from strength to strength in 2012 as Flybe extends its new launched Manchester route to all year round, Lufthansa launches a new weekly service to Düsseldorf and Ryanair is to add four new European routes.The new Ryanair routes are expected to boost traffic by 10% Irish Times (21st November).

Ryanair announced that it is to launch four new routes commencing in March 2012 from Barcelona Girona, Frankfurt Hahn, Milan Bergamo and Paris Beauvais. The four new routes are expected to generate 500,000 passengers creating 500 new jobs in the Mayo region Belfast Telegraph (21st November)  

The airline with Tourism Ireland is targeting inbound tourism from France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which is expected to generate €23 million for the local economy ITIC (21st November).

The Minister for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring stated “This is a very positive development from a tourism perspective and will provide greater ease of access to the west for business and leisure travelers from the European mainland, an important target market for Irish tourism.” The (21st November 2011).

These new routes will make the West and North West more accessible to the time sensitive short-break market, as tourists will no longer have to travel via Belfast or Dublin. These new routes will open a new market to attractions such as Achill Island, Croagh Patrick, The National Museum of Ireland, Westport House, and The Great Western Greenway.

These new routes will underpin Ireland West Knock Airport as the fastest growing airport in Ireland, with traffic up 14% in the first seven months of the year with 451,186 passengers and it reported 84,000 passengers used the airport last August up 6% its busiest ever.

A report in Anna.Aero on the 2nd of June stated the busiest routes in 2010 where dominated by the London airports served, London Stansted, Luton and Gatwick with an average load factor of 65%. There is a large visiting family and friends (VFR) market between London and Mayo.

Ireland West Knock Airport generates €62 million for the wider economy with 800,000 bed nights supporting 115 full-time jobs and 786 indirect jobs in the region Ireland West Knock Airport Statement of Strategy 2008-2010 (20th September 2007). On the 27th of July 2010 it was announced the government was commencing a feasibility study into the establishment of an Enterprise Park Mayo News (13tH July 2010).

Interestingly Ireland West Knock Airport Statement of Strategy 2008-2010 (20th September 2007) made reference to re-opening the Western Rail Corridor to provide sustainable public transport access. In the present new National Development Plan 2012-16 phases 2 and 3 are put on hold until finance becomes available.

The case to re-open the railway line from Claremorris to Charlestown at a future date only will grow as Ireland West Knock Airport as traffic grows from 750,000 passengers in 2012. There is a case to develop an eco-friendly tourist product using Ireland West Knock as a focal point for the region leveraging the potential of the Western Rail Corridor and the new cycling trails in the county the Great West Greenway and plans to extend cycling trails to Galway and Sligo.

The Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Michael Ring stated “I want to make the west of Ireland, and in particular Mayo, the walking and cycling capital of the world.” The Mayo News (1st November).

Ryanair Ireland West Knock Airport Route

Ireland West Knock- Frankfurt Hahn x 3 weekly Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 27th Mar

RYR5721 depart Frankfurt Hahn 1100 arrive Ireland West 1215 Tuesday
RYR5722 depart Ireland West 1240 arrive Frankfurt Hahn 1550

RYR5721 depart Frankfurt Hahn 1325 arrive Ireland West 1440 Thursday
RYR5722 depart Ireland West 1505 arrive Frankfurt Hahn 1815

RYR5721 depart Frankfurt Hahn 1000 arrive Ireland West 1115 Saturday
RYR5722 depart Ireland West 1140 arrive Frankfurt Hahn 1450

Ireland West Knock- Barcelona Girona x 3 weekly Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 27th

RYR2205 depart Girona 1350 arrive Ireland West 1530 Tuesday/Saturday
RYR2206 depart Ireland West 1555 arrive Girona 1920

RYR2205 depart Girona 1615 arrive Ireland West 1750 Thursday
RYR2206 depart Ireland 1820 arrive Girona 2150

Ireland West Knock- Paris Beauvais x 3 weekly Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 27th Mar

RYR7582 depart Beauvais 1230 arrive Ireland West 1315
RYR7581 depart Ireland West 0920 arrive Beauvais 1205

Ireland West Knock- Milan Bergamo x 2 weekly Wednesday and Sunday 25th Mar

Will be updated later.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 24th November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ryanair: Future growth driven by airport deals ©

Ryanair indicated in its half-year results that future growth will be driven by the best airport deals which will be opportunistic, as another wave of airline consolidation begins to take hold across the European airline sector, as the Euro debt crisis further erodes economic activity coped with high fuel costs.

The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary revealed that the airline is currently talking to thirty new airports not currently served by the carrier Ryanair Conference Call (7th November), after indicating in September Central Europe and Scandinavia will be the focus for expansion in the next two to three years Bloomberg (4th October).

The airline indicated its average sector length will decline as Central Europe and Germany will be in focus. The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary indicated airports in Germany where offering ‘Exceptional Deals’ in the aftermath of the Air Berlin ‘Shape & Size’ re-structuring plan, as regional airports will lose flights and routes Ryanair Conference Call (7th November).

On the 19th of October the carrier announced its first base in Central Europe with the launch of a new base in Wroclaw with a single Boeing 737-800 operating six new routes from March 2012 in addition to eight existing routes.

The carrier stated it is in negotiations to open a new base in Warsaw Modlin in 2012 where it is planning significant expansion, initially launching the base with 10-12 routes (19th October). The goal of the carrier is to base 10 Boeing 737-800s operating 40 routes carrying 3.5 million passengers over five years Warsaw Business Journal Online (24th October).

On the 25th of October the airline announced a new base in Baden-Baden (Karlsruhe), becoming its 47th European Base with two Boeing 737-800s operating 19 routes from the 26th of March, with the new based aircraft taking over many of the 12 existing routes (26th October).

According to Anna.Aero Ryanair is currently the third largest carrier in the Polish market behind Wizzair and LOT Polish Airlines, therefore their scope for huge growth in this market. The conditions are ripe for growth with the Polish GDP growth forecast at 2.5% in 2012 well above the EU average of 0.5% Warsaw Business Journal Online (11th November).

In a surprise move the airline announced four new routes from Brussels Charleroi, Girona, London Stansted and Malaga to Turku in Finland. This demonstrates as the carrier evolves with market opportunities both primary and secondary airports will be part of the mix. These new routes will build its footprint in the Scandinavian market, with new routes already announced from it's Oslo Rygge and Stockholm Skastva bases for summer 2012.

As the pace of consolidation accelerates across Europe this winter no doubt further opportunistic deals will become available in due course. A number of carriers have already issued profit warnings and indicated plans to scale back capacity, while other carriers indicated further re-structuring will be necessary in the short-haul market.

I enclose a recent Bloomberg Interview with Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary (7th November 2011).

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 16th November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Dublin Airport: The Ancillary Revenue Potential ©

The line of aircraft on runway 29 for the UEFA Cup Final
The ACI DG Angela Gittens stated “Non-aeronautical revenues critically determine the financial viability of an airport as they tend to generate higher profit margins than aeronautical activities” (Insight airport world June 2011).

This blog article will examine the potential of Dublin Airport to grow new ancillary revenue streams. should be realized in the current environment, as core traffic continues to fall, now is the time to develop new revenue streams utilizing existing infrastructure, taping into Meeter and Greeters, local residents and visitor’s market segments.

Therefore there are potential opportunities to develop new ancillary revenue streams adding value to the existing customer offering, firstly the airport should considering developing aircraft viewing facilities in Terminal One, following the successful model developed by Frankfurt Main, its viewing terrace is one of the top visitor attractions in the country. Schiphol and Zurich airports have very successful viewing terraces open all year round.

To tap the potential of the meeter and greeter market segment, the option to re-develop the existing space and new retail concept to capture new revenue streams utilizing existing space on the mezzanine level needs to be considered. Frankfurt Main charges €4 per adult for admission to the viewing terrace (Fraport). In tandem in-house conference facilities could be developed as part of the product mix.

To appeal local residents the retail offering should be revised with its service partner to offer a very competitive product versus competition in the Fingal area, to attract more footfall to the terminal to generate additional revenue. This could be further enhanced by weekend operation of a  local food and gift market as this been done in the past utilizing the available space on the mezzaine level. This concept could be developed with Fingal County Enterprise board and County Council to showcase products and services.

The Dublin Airport Authority should also consider developing viewing facilities on the perimeter road at the existing Runway 28 car park, jointly with the Fingal County Council, ideally by extending and landscaping the existing car park using the Manchester Viewing Park as a template on a smaller scale.

The UEFA Cup Final Porto Vs Barga on the 18th of May saw over 3,000 aviation enuthaists from all over Europe travel to Dublin , which was additional spin-off business , when 65 additional charter and executive flights visited , also four US Marines CH-47's arrived in advance of the visit of US President Obama. Therefore creating a good first impression could generate repeat business from this market segment. 

'The Mound at Runway 28' on UEFA Cup day 18th May 2011
(C)Copyright Michael Kelly
There is an opportunity to develop an Aviation Museum at Castlemoat House exploting the full potential of the site, which is ideally located to become a new visitor attraction in Fingal with a strong aviation heritage leveraging social media to drive visitor numbers, it could become a magnet to attract the young generation into the aviation industry. Could this venture be done in partnership with airport based companies and volunteers???.

In conclusion their is a hidden opportunity at Dublin Airport waiting to be developed, which will further enhance the customer experience and generate new revenue streams.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 13th November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Irish Airlines Report October Traffic ©

Aer Lingus reported a 1.6% increase in traffic with the airline carrying 907,000 passengers with a load factor of 78.5%, with 831,000 short-haul passengers with a load factor of 81% up 2% and 76,000 long-haul passengers down 1.3% with a load factor of 73.1% up 2%.

The Aer Lingus Regional franchise operation carried 69,000 passengers up 30.2% and year to date up 101% to 656,000 passengers.

Ryanair announced that it carried 7.27 million passengers in October up 4% it’s load factor at 84% down 1% and year to date it has carried 77.1 million passengers. The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary stated when announcing Q3 results that November traffic would fall by 10%, as result of the carrier parking 80 Boeing 737-800s for the winter RTE (7th November 2011).

Aer Lingus stated in its Q3 IMS Statement (3rd November) ‘Continuing Weakness on certain leisure routes from Ireland’, and this morning on the Newstalk Breakfast Business Show the Ryanair CFO Howard Miller stated demand from Ireland was weak.  

A key concern for all airlines serving Ireland will be Budget 2012. The Department of Finance Medium-Term Fiscal Statement (4TH November) revised growth foreasts from 2.5% to 1.6% stating their would be  €1.6 Billion in tax increases. Therefore it’s impact is likely on disposable income, will likely dampen demand for leisure travel.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 7th November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Irish Aviation Policy: Setting A New Course ©

The new Irish Government which was elected on the 25th of February made tourism a key element of its Programme for Government, recognizing the aviation can play a key contribution to recovery, with new policies which will set a new course for the aviation sector reversing the loss of competitiveness.

The new Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has achieved a number of objectives as set out in the Programme for Government with the launch of a new Tourism Marketing Fund which was announced on the 14th of October collaborating with Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines, US Airways using revenues from the air travel tax Merrion Street (October 2011), and a new short-stay Visa Wavier programme to tap growth from emerging BRIC economies Irish Times (July 2011).

In tandem with the initiatives announced above the government job initiative introduced a new low VAT rate of 9% for the tourism sector KPMG (May 2011), and the Dublin Airport Authority announced a new route incentive scheme to encourage growth at Cork, Dublin and Shannon Airports DAA (May 2011).   

The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar advised the Dail that he was unable to reach agreement with the airlines on increasing capacity for winter 2011 and accordingly did not sign the act to terminate the €3 Air Travel Tax, but stated the department would continue negotiations with the airlines; the decision will be reviewed in Spring 2012 Irish Times (July 2011).

However in a highly significant change of policy the Minister in a statement on the 9th of September the Dublin Airport Authority ownership of the three state airports was “Not Tenable” High Beam Research (10TH of September).  In the summer month’s airline CEO’s where extremely vocal of airport policy, indicating the status quo could no longer continue, with domestic demand weak and high fuel costs.

The path to restore competitiveness to the sector took another step forward with the commission for Aviation Regulation announcing on the 24th of October it was reducing Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) Air Traffic Services by 40% with effect from the 1st of January 2012, with an immediate 25% reduction in 2012 followed by 6% thereafter up to December 2015 CAR (24th October 2011).

The Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the announcement stating “Lower costs for airlines should boost the Government’s efforts to encourage more visitors and build on the tourism-promotion measures in the jobs initiative” Irish Times (25th October 2011).

To further build on the reducing costs to airlines the Minister stated he was working with the Commission of Aviation Regulation (CAR), and the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) on reducing airport charges noting the DAA did have an upper and lower pricing ceiling in the current 2010-2014 airport charges determination Business ETC (25th October).

The current Irish Aviation Airport Regulatory framework is modeled on the UK which has seen the Competition Authority direct the British Airports Authority (BAA) sell London Gatwick, London Stansted and Edinburgh airports to create a competitive airport environment.

Therefore the outcome of the Irish Airports review which is currently being undertaken by Booz and Company on behalf of the Department of Transport will be eagerly awaited. The Transport Minister Leo Varadkar stated “It’s my objective to break up the monopoly that is there and to free Cork and Shannon as much as possible from the control of Dublin”, Cork Independent (27TH October 2011).

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 4th November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The end of an era on the Dublin-Cork route ©

Passengers boarding RYR9842
The end of an era in domestic in air travel took place last Saturday the 30th of October when Ryanair operated its last Cork-Dublin flight, bring to an end a route with a long history having commenced by Aer Lingus in the 1960s. This route has seen a wide of airlines and aircraft types operate the route, through the years which enabled efficient travel times to Dublin, in the absence of adequate of ground based transport which did become available until the Celtic Tiger era.


EI-EFK Boeing 737-8AS being prepared for final Dublin Departure

On Saturday RYR9842 EI-EFK Boeing 737-8AS crewed by Captain Pat Moran and First Officer Kevin Quinlivan, and four cabin crew members lead by CCM Susan welcomed the 30 passengers on-board.

The aircraft pushed back off stand at 1739 becoming airborne off runway 17 at 1745 routing over Cork City towards Clonmel and Killiney at FL190 (19,000ft), then descending over Dublin Bay east of Howth Head for landing on runway 28 at Dublin touching down at 1815 and on-blocks at 1821 on stand 107R on Pier D.


Aer Arann launched operations on the Cork-Dublin route in 2000 initially using Shorts 360s, Aer Lingus integrated the schedule with European and London flights, with Aer Lingus Commuter using Bae 146-200/300s and Fokker F50s.

The English Market
In 2001 following 9/11 Aer Lingus announced that it was axing the Cork to Dublin route in 2002 as part of a re-structuring plan announced by the Aer Lingus CEO Mr Willie Walsh to ensure its survival. In 2003 Air Wales operated a double daily service on the route using ATR42’s (2003).

The English Market

On the 14th of September 2005 Ryanair announced that it would be establishing a new base in Cork with a single Boeing 737-800 operating a new route to Dublin three times daily ,and London Gatwick daily. The Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary stated “You go where the potential is and we believe there is enormous potential on the Dublin-Cork route” Irish Independent (2005)

At this stage Aer Arann was operating the Dublin-Cork route nine times daily a high frequency shuttle using ATR42s and ATR72s, with Ryanair stating they would be targeting Iarnrod Eireann passengers on the route Irish Independent (2005). This new competition lead to Aer Arann to progressively reduce frequency to three times daily.


At an presentation to the Dail Transport Committee in 2008 interesting facts in relation to the route where revealed with Ryanair entry growing the market from 238,000 passenger to 480,000 passengers in the period from 2005 to 2008, with Ryanair having an 65% market share and Aer Arann 35% market share Pat Breen TD (July 2008).

However in 2008 Aer Arann responded to the competition by increasing frequency to five times daily with a wider spread of timings and new on-board service enhancements Aer Arann (2008). The Aer Arann CEO Gary Cullen stated “Excellent performance on Cork-Dublin route” in the first months of the end of May 2008 Aer Arann (2008).

Lining up for Depature on Runway 17

In July 2008 the airline launched a complaint with the Competition Authority alleging that Ryanair was engaging in predatory pricing on daily flights between Cork and Dublin The Irish Emigrant (2008), however in July 2009 the Competition Authority announced that it was ending the probe after it found Ryanair’s fare where profitable and it was competing against ground transport Contrails (July 2009).

In the turn towards Clonmel

In 2009 Aer Arann announced that it would offer new connecting fares from Cork through Dublin to Donegal, Derry, Galway and Ireland West Knock to appeal to long-distance road traffic Aer Arann (2009).

On the 28th of July 2010 Aer Arann announced that it would be suspending the Cork-Dublin with effect from the 31st of August .as an ATR42 would be returning off lease but stated plans to re-start the route at a later date would be kept under consideration Aer Arann (2010).

In 2008 and 2009 Ryanair stated in its 20-F SEC Annual Report Filing Dublin-Cork route was in the top 10 ten routes with 5 daily flights, with over 340,000 passengers using the route. However the situation began to change in 2010 as Ryanair began tasking the Cork based on longer sectors from the Cork Based aircraft on European/UK sectors, which lead to a reduction in frequency on the Dublin route.


On the 17th of November 2010 the airline announced that it would be taking 48 weekly frequencies out of the Dublin base in a dispute over landing charges, with a reduction in the frequency on the Cork-Dublin route from double daily to a daily service. RTE News (November 2010).

In the Cruise at FL190 at Dusk

The change came into effect on the Cork-Dublin route on the 17th of January 2011 with the Cork Based aircraft operating a revised routing Cork-Dublin-Liverpool-Cork and a reverse routing on return, thus splitting the Dublin service, with the route now attractive to Cork passengers enabling a day return on the route.


On the 23rd of August Ryanair announced it would ceasing the route on the 30th of October citing a combination of factors including: CAA/DAA charges , air travel tax and a fall in demand , with the Cork Chamber of Commerce seeking an replacement carrier to enable international connectivity. The ground transport network has considerably improved with the completion of the M8 motorway and increased railway line frequency and speeds, and coach competition.


In the context of Emirates Airlines launching a new route to Dublin on the 9th of January and a possible new Air China route to Beijing, the new United Airlines route to Washington Dulles, their could be a compelling business case, with a regional aircraft to provide connectivity, which will provide opportunities for Cork businesses in export markets and for FDI.

Concerns over cutting of Ryanair routes

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 2nd November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Manchester Airport Growing Irish Connections ©

This week has seen the Manchester Airport Irish connections grow considerably despite the UK APD tax and weak economic conditions in both countries, with Easyjet launching a new route to Belfast operating double daily and Flybe launch a new route to Ireland West Knock operating four times weekly, Ryanair opens its 45th European Base today with two Boeing 737-800s operating 26 routes with the base fleet to increase to four units for Summer 2012 with further expansion planned.

Interestingly it was citied by Routesonline (27th January 2011),it was citied the Dublin Manchester market is almost 600,000 passengers according IATA BSP data. Ryanair's base expansion will see it increase frequency on the Dublin route to 21 times per week (Four to six daily) using a mix of Dublin and Manchester based aircraft InsideIreland (26th January 2011).

The Irish airline connection with Manchester goes back 62 years to when Aer Lingus first launched a route from Dublin which has evolved over the years with Aer Lingus taking advantage of the EU Liberalization package of six freedom rights in the 1990s.

This enabled expansion beyond its core Dublin route by operating routes into mainland Europe from Manchester to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan, Paris CDG, Zurich Flighglobal archive (1991). In 1994 Aer Lingus operated a daily Airbus A330 service from Manchester to New York JFK via Shannon PR Newswire (1994).

In 1987 Ryanair launched services on the Dublin Manchester using Bac 1-11s which where leased from Tarom Airlines, however due to intense competition from Aer Lingus and British Airways the carrier accumulated £20m in losses, which lead a major re-structuring of its strategy, which saw the route being closed (Ryanair).

In 1994 the carrier began taking delivery of Boeing 737-200s as it embarked on a new low-fares strategy based on the Southwest Airlines model,  thus re-launching the Manchester route (Ryanair). However in 2010 the carrier had a dispute with the airport over charges which saw it reduce from 10 routes to a single route to Dublin (Ryanair)

The launch of Aer Lingus Regional saw Manchester re-connected to Cork (October) and Shannon (July) in 2010 following Bmibaby and Ryaanir closing their respective routes, with double daily frequencies on the Cork route making it attractive to business passengers on the route., also Cityjet have been active in the Manchester market operating Football IT charters.

On the 11th of October the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) announced that Ryanair Route Development Director Ken O’Toole is to join the group as Chief Commercial Officer Travel Weekly (11th October).

An interesting future is ahead as Manchester Airport Irish Connections countinue to grow.

Manchester Back in favour with Ryanair: Based aircraft will add 12 new routes this winter, eight more next summer

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 1st November 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Aer Lingus Increases Dublin London Gatwick Capacity ©

Aer Lingus has announced that it has increased capacity on the Dublin to London Gatwick route by 56%, with the carrier adding two additional daily rotations for a total of six daily rotations which commenced on the 19th of October (Aer Lingus website), with new early morning departures at both ends of the route, providing higher frequency with a wider range of timings, which will be particularly attractive to business traffic.

The increased London Gatwick route capacity increase is consistent with its demand-lead strategy, as the carrier re-deploys capacity from Southern Europe to Northern Europe (Investor Day Conference Call 28th of September), where their is an increased business traffic mix.

Aer Lingus has been winning back market share in the key London market with the carrier having market share of 45% in 2010 up from 39% in 2009 (Flying in Ireland April 2011), having product differential in the market with roll out of new fare pricing structure, participation in GDS, seat selection and mobile phone check-in option.

The roll out of the Economy Flex a quasi business class product allowing customers re-book flights which offers flexibility ,together with the roll out of the pre-order hot meals in 2012 (Investor Day Conference Call 28th of September), will be particularly attractive to business traffic on routes such as Gatwick.

The increased frequency on the London Gatwick route will be attractive offering increased connecting opportunities to partners British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

With the Aer Lingus policy of commercial neutrality it will be particularly interesting to see how it will develop at London Gatwick in relation to new partnerships in due course, where the carrier could gain potential connectivity to the Asia market, or alternatively passengers could book through point to point.

Three new carriers will be launching new routes to Asia from London Gatwick over the comong months including Air Asia X six times weekly to Kula Lumpur from today 24th of October (Channel News Asia 13th of July 2011), Korean Airlines three times weekly to Seoul from the 28th of March 2012 (Flightglobal 5th October), and Vietnam Airlines twice weekly to Ho Chi Minh City from the 9th of December (Travelmole 11th October)

Dublin London Gatwick Schedule:

EIN230 depart Dublin at 0640 arrive London Gatwick at 810
EIN231 depart London Gatwick at 0650 arrive Dublin at 0810

***Revised timings***
*EIN230 Dublin based aircraft.
*EIN231 London Gatwick based aircraft.

EIN236 depart London Gatwick at 1250 arrive Dublin 1410
EIN243 depart Dublin 1450 arrive London Gatwick 1610

EIN245 depart London Gatwick at 1750 arrive Dublin 1910
EIN246 depart Dublin at 1950 arrive London Gatwick at 2110

Operated by A320.

Gatwick Airport Perdicts 100 extra flights per day

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 24th October 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Emirates Airlines Dublin Route Ambition ©

On the 8th of September Emirates Airlines announced that it was launching a new route from it’s Dubai Base to Dublin commencing on the 9th of January 2012 operating daily using an Airbus A330-200, becoming the 29th European City on its route network (Emirates Airlines).

On the 21st of September the carrier announced that it was seek to fill 17 job positions at its new Dublin station being set up, including cargo and passenger roles (ITTN), the carrier was looking at options to serve the IT package market (ITTN).

It was citied by Routes online (8th of September) that the 54,000 Origin & Destination passengers travel annually between Ireland and the UAE, with 10% of this market currently flying via Emirates Airlines UK routes, the carrier could potentially capture O&D traffic connecting via European Hubs.

On the Breakfast Business Show with Ian Guider on Newstalk 106-108FM (Thursday 20th October). The Emirates Airlines VP UK & Ireland Laurie Berryman stated when the new Dublin route matures in 2 to 3 years time, it plans to increase capacity from an Airbus A330-200 to Boeing 777.

The VP stated 'Never say Never' to using the A380 on Dublin route, with 19 of 90 A380s on order delivered, it held discussions with Dublin Airport Authority on type using Terminal 2. Emirates Airlines has a policy of increasing aircraft size rather than increasing frequency (Business Travel News).

The carrier continues to build its brand profile in Ireland with the carrier holding four open recruitment days in Cork, Dublin, Galway and Limerick starting next week, as it has requirement for 4,000 cabin crew in the current financial year.

The Emirates Airlines VP UK & Ireland Laurie Berryman stated “Our policy has always been to recruit staff from countries where there is a strong hospitality tradition” (Business & Leadership).

Interestingly Emirates Airlines started a Dubai to Manchester route in 1985 using Airbus A310 on an daily service, and over the years has increased the route in terms of capacity and frequency with the carrier now operating three times daily using A330, B777-300 and A380.

An exciting future is ahead for Emirates Airlines as it develops it’s new Dublin route where the carrier sees significant potential.


Irish Aviation Research Institute © 24th October 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lufthansa Expands Irish Route Network for summer 2012 ©

Lufthansa is to expand its route network into Ireland for summer 2012 with the carrier launching two new routes from its Düsseldorf Base to Dublin and Ireland West Knock Airport, in addition to restoring its seasonal Munich to Dublin route. The German consumer confidence is strong, on the back of economy growth of 3.6% (Tourism Ireland) which is driving demand for air travel.

The new Lufthansa Ireland West Knock route will carry 2,000 passengers generating €1 million in revenues, annually over 200,000 Germans visit the West of Ireland, with Ireland West Airport confident that Lufthansa will continue to grow its operation beyond 2012 with increased capacity and new routes (Anna.Aero).   

Germanwings is to increase capacity by 25% on the Cologne/Bonn to Dublin route for summer 2012 increasing frequency from three to four flights weekly (Germanwings).

The German market is the third largest travel market inbound with 380,000 German tourists visiting Ireland in 2010 (Irish Times June 2011), generating €160 million in revenues on all Ireland basis (Tourism Ireland), with German tourist numbers up 15% in the first half alone, indicating there is significant potential in the market, with Aer Lingus having launched a new route to Stuttgart this summer, and extended the operation of its Hamburg route to all year round, to capture the inbound growth opportunities from the German market.  

Düsseldorf-Dublin Route:   


LH3470 depart Düsseldorf 1045 arrive Dublin 1145
LH3471 depart Dublin 1215 arrive Düsseldorf 1505

Effective: 6th May till 26th September
Operated by Contract Air Fokker F100


LH3470 depart Düsseldorf 1320 arrive Dublin 1410
LH3471 depart Dublin 1450 arrive Düsseldorf 1505

Effective: 6th May till 26th September
Operated by Eurowings CRJ900

Düsseldorf-Ireland West Knock Airport Route:  (Saturdays)

LH3468 depart Düsseldorf 1050 arrive Ireland West Knock 1150
LH3469 depart Ireland West Knock 1305 arrive Düsseldorf 1605

Effective: 6th May to 29th September
Operated by CRJ900

Munich Dublin Route: (Saturdays)

LH2514 depart Munich at 1504 arrive Dublin 1630
LH2515 depart Dublin at 1715 arrive Munich 2030

Effective: 7th April to 6th of October
Operated by A320

I enclose a link to a recent article: Knock gets weekly Düsseldorf service next summer; IrelandGermany market trebled between 2002 and 2008

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 17th October 2011 All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Air Travel Crucial for Irish Economic Recovery ©

Air Travel will play a crucial role in the recovery of the Irish economy playing a valuable role to drive inward Foreign Direct Investment, and enabling Irish companies to grow export markets, with the economic expected to grow by 1.8% in 2012 (Irish Central Bank) .

It was citied in the research of Ishutkina that between 1985 and 2005 the average growth rate of the airline sector in Ireland was 17.1% ,almost triple the GDP rate of 6.1%, as a result of EU liberalization packages opening up the market.

Therefore the key to unlocking the growth of the aviation sector will be further liberalization of the market by creating a competitive cost environment with airport infrastructure, and expanding open skies agreements.

The air transport sector is a key connectivity tool enabling movement of capital, knowledge, opportunity, people, resources and skills; it impacts on the economy directing creating jobs and indirectly i.e. for every 1 million passengers through airport 1,000 jobs are created in the economy (ACI).

Ireland must create new traffic flows for labour, investment and tourism, as the industry makes a significant contribution to the economy through wages, profits, tax and Vat receipts and supports further jobs through the valued added supply chain.

One enduring industry ‘fact’ is that traffic grows twice as fast as GDP

Recent research has shown that there is a significant link between air connectivity and business productivity and long-term GDP growth, the key drivers of international air travel are costs i.e fuel, GDP growth, the political environment, trade growth and service quality changes, a 10% increase in business travel has been found to increase productivity and GDP by roughly 1% in the long run (Oxford Economics).

It is clear that air travel demand is driven by economic growth and that it is highly leveraged to the economic cycle, expanding and contracting at roughly twice the rate of the overall economy (IATA).

This fact has been bourne out with the Dublin Airport Authority stating Dublin Airport traffic was up 4% in the first nine months to August, with economic growth of 1.6% expected for 2011, the traffic growth bears out the GDP/Traffic relationship.

The Minister of Transport Leo Varadkar is to due to make a decision of the future of the Dublin Airport Authority by the end of the year (Cork Independent), in early September he stated the ownership of Cork, Dublin and Shannon under the Dublin Airport Authority was "not tenable" (Irish Times), recognizing airport costs are key part of recovery strategy to restore competitiveness to stimulate the tourism industry, the review of the €3 air travel tax next spring is to be welcomed.

Interestingly Aer Lingus and Ryanair account for a combined market share of 78% at Dublin Airport (DAA Annual Report 2010), at Cork Airport they account for 77% (DAA Annual Report 2010) and Shannon Airport 64% (DAA Annual Report 2010).

The Air Travel industry can make a significant contribution to the economic recovery, once competitiveness in airport infrastructure is restored to pre 2008 levels, according to research 73% of tourists travel by air (GoIreland), the average Tourist spend is €502 (FailteIreland) and Business Tourist spend is €980 (FailteIreland).

It was citied by the World Travel and Tourism Council tourism in Ireland makes a contribution of 6% of GDP €1.9 Billion to exchequer supporting 106,000 jobs.

On Friday 14th of October it was announced that Tourism Ireland is to collobrate with an number of airlines including Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, Etithad Airways, Emirates Airlines and US Airways to stimulate the inbound tourism market using a portion of revenue from the Air Travel Tax for joint marketing promotions.

The indications for 2012 are bright with Emirates Airlines to launch a new daily service from Dubai to Dublin commencing on the 9th of January 2012 enabling access to Emirates Airlines growing route network, and Lufthansa is to commence a weekly service from Dusseldorf to Ireland West Knock Airport for the summer season, and Ryanair has announced that it will launch three new routes into Ireland West Knock Airport for summer 2012.

China's Middle Class Fueling Travel Industry

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 12th October 2011 All Rights Reserved.