The prospect of Dublin Airport becoming a 'Fortress' Airport remains a real prospect in the event of a successful take-over of Aer Lingus by Ryanair already the two carriers including Aer Lingus Regional account for 83.9% of total Dublin Airport Traffic (UBM Aviation Routes May 2012). According to Anna.aero (June 2012) Ryanair competes on 73% of the Aer Lingus route network indirectly or directly out of Dublin Airport.
The etablishment of Aer Lingus Regional has seen the Aer Lingus brand re-enter markets too large to justify Airbus A320 equipment (Bristol) and to feed it's Transatlantic route network, interestingly it has filled the gap left by Ryanair exiting UK city pairs to Aberdeen, Blackpool and Bournemouth also increasing frequenices to Edinburgh & Glasgow.
Since the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and subsequent recession traffic into Ireland has collapsed by 23% (Anna.aero February 2012), with indications this year it will struggle to achieve growth of 1% in view of continued weak domestic demand (CSO revised GDP Growth from 1.4% to 0.7%/GNP -2.5% & Unemployment rate 14.9%) and the on-going Euro Debt Crisis suppressing demand.
In my previous blog post: We need Irish Airline Competition (23rd June 2012) gave a detailed overview of carriers whom have exited the market through bankruptcy, consolidation and downsizing.
Since the last attempted take-over of Aer Lingus by Ryanair in December 2008 their has been a convergence of Ryanair stategy to that of Aer Lingus by operating to primary airports as a result of airline consolidation/closures creating opportunities for Ryanair to establish new bases at primary airports Budapest (Malev Airlines), Barcelona (Spanair), Manchester (Bmibaby).
This has lead Ryanair to competing against Aer Lingus on three new city pairs from Dublin to Barcelona , Budapest, Warsaw*. However their is a possibility in future of overlap on city-pairs to Lisbon subject of course to Ryanair reaching agreements with the airport.
On the 29th of March Ryanair Deputy CEO Michael Cawley outlined a new Lisbon Base proposal identifying Cork & Dublin as potential new routes (Low cost Portugal 4th May 2012).
We await with interest the developments as they unfold with Ryanair's third take-over bid of Aer Lingus and how it evolves over the coming months ahead.
*Ryanair serves the new Warsaw Modlin Airport
Irish Aviation Research Institute © 18th July 2012 All Rights Reserved.