Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ryanair carries 70 millionth passenger in Germany ©

Ryanair achieved another European milestone carrying its 70 millionth passenger in Germany, since launching its first route from London Stansted to Frankfurt Hahn on 22nd April 1999, the passenger Katharina Mueller travelled from Milan Bergamo to Bremen airport on 29th November.

Ryanair Sales & Marketing Executive Jana Skornicka said "We are pleased with the consistent success story of Ryanair in Germany. Since the first flight on 22 April 1999 from London Stansted to Frankfurt / Hahn has grown steadily despite our offer growth unfriendly levy taxes and we are now represented in twelve German airports".

Ryanair has bases in Baden Baden (Karlsruhe), Bremen, Dusseldorf Weeze and Frankfurt Hahn, and operates from Dublin to Berlin Schonefeld,Frankfurt,Memmingen and Kerry to Frankfurt Hahn, also in Summer 2012 it operated from Ireland West Knock Airport to Frankfurt Hahn.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 2nd October 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Northern Ireland Airports welcome APD report ©

Northern Ireland Airports have welcomed the report ‘An Air Transport Strategy for Northern Ireland’, produced by the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee reinforces the view that airports have been saying for the past three years; APD acts as an artificial barrier to developing both leisure and business routes and is hindering potential future growth.

The House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee says that Air Passenger Duty on short haul flights—which make up 98.5% of all flights to Northern Ireland—remains a major stumbling block to rebalancing the NI economy and must be scrapped on all flights to NI from Great Britain and on all flights from NI. The report stated Links to hub airports such as Heathrow, should be maintained and further routes actively sought, and road and rail links to all three of Northern Ireland's airports must be improved.

Laurence Robertson MP Chair of the Committee said "For the people of Northern Ireland air travel is not a luxury, it is fundamental to family and economic life. To help rebalance the Northern Ireland economy, it is vital that air links to Great Britain, mainland Europe and the rest of the world are robust ".

Belfast International Airport Managing Director John Dorans said “The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has produced a report that should help develop a new approach to a sector that offers considerable but as yet untapped economic potential, the removal of APD on short-haul flights would help Northern Ireland compete more effectively with Dublin Airport and produce attractive returns in terms of increased passenger numbers and a viable and expanding tourism sector, this is particularly critical as 80% of air traffic in and out of NI is to GB and APD is charged at both ends of a return trip. The result is that on any return trip to any destination in England Scotland or Wales, £26 of the ticket price simply goes on taxation".

City of Derry Airport Director Damien Tierney said "APD charged in the UK is already the highest in the world and is up to 8.5 times more than the European average.  For example, Air Travel Tax [Ireland’s APD equivalent] is charged at a flat rate of €3 per departing passenger, whereas the UK domestic rate is £13 per departing passenger, 400% higher.  We believe this creates an unfair market situation and is inhibiting our ability to attract new carriers and routes to the North West region, especially with Derry being the host city for the 2013 UK City of Culture".

George Best Belfast City Airport CEO Brian Ambrose said "Management at Belfast City Airport welcomes all of the recommendations detailed in the report published today.,we hope both Westminster and the NI Executive give serious consideration to providing an Air Passenger Duty solution in which the duty no longer acts as a barrier for local business or has a negative impact on UK tourism into Northern Ireland, alll elements of the strategy would have a positive impact on the Northern Ireland economy and strengthen air links to and from this island ".

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 5th December 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Government confirms Shannon Airport separation ©

The Irish Government has decided to grant Shannon Airport full independence from Dublin Airport Authority on December 31st 2012 and merge the airport with a restructured Shannon Development to form a new, publicly-owned, commercial entity in 2013, implementing the decision taken in principle last May with specific commitments for the creation of 850 jobs has been secured from two Shannon-based companies, as part of plans for an International Aviation Services Centre,these commitments depend on the separation of Shannon Airport from the DAA.

A report from the Aviation Business Development Task Force, set up by the Shannon Steering Group, also states that the Aviation Services Center ‘is conservatively projected to create and maintain 3,000-3,500 new direct jobs within five years, not including construction jobs’.

The Government decision will grant Shannon Airport the long-awaited freedom to determine its own future in the best interests of the airport itself and of the Shannon region, and merge it with a restructured Shannon Development. The new entity will include Shannon Development’s extensive land-bank and will be tasked with developing an international aviation center of excellence.

Minister Varadkar said "The decision taken today is an historic one and will free the board and management of Shannon airport, together with their employees, to bring a fresh approach to the future development of the airport. A key element of that future will be the development of an International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) in and around the airport, building on a range of aviation-related activities already undertaken in Shannon such as aircraft maintenance and leasing.

I am particularly struck by the degree of support for an independent airport across a wide spectrum of interested parties including business interests, chambers of commerce, and local authorities. Airport users, service providers, and prospective new airport customers including airlines and companies have expressed an overwhelming desire to deal directly with Shannon on a separated basis ".

Shannon Airport Director Mary Considine said “Today is a pivotal step in the process of separation.  The focus of staff and management at Shannon Airport has been on ensuring that the airport is financially and operationally ready for separation.  We will continue to build on the momentum of recent gains in passenger services whilst growing a range of commercial opportunities. This entire process is all about securing a sustainable future for all the stakeholders of the Airport and that Shannon Airport delivers on its role as a key economic driver for the West of Ireland.”

Shannon Chamber President Damian Gleeson said "Today’s announcement heralds a new era for Shannon. Autonomy gives Shannon the freedom to chart its own future, negotiate with new airlines, develop new routes, seek new foreign direct investment, encourage new indigenous subcontracting and most importantly, regenerate the pioneering spirit on which the Shannon brand was built ".

Legislation will now be drafted to establish a new, publicly-owned commercial Shannon entity comprising the airport and the restructured Shannon Development. This legislation will also make an appropriate change to the name of the Dublin Airport Authority to take account of the new ownership structures. The Government plans to have this legislation enacted by the Oireachtas by the middle of next year.

 Irish Aviation Research Institute © 5th December 2012 All Rights Reserved.