Earlier this week saw Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair call out the Irish Government on a lack of action taken over the Dublin Airport drone closures.
The airport in Dublin closed for the fifth time in four weeks back on February 21 due to drone disruption, which has caused Ryanair to speak out.
Ryanair specifically called out the Irish Transport Minister, Eamon Ryan, encouraging him to act on this.
Ryanair’s Comments on Dublin Airport Drone Closures…
A Ryanair spokesperson said the following on the closures at Dublin Airport caused by drones:
“It is unacceptable that more Ryanair flights and hundreds of passengers have again suffered disruptions and delays as Dublin Airport closed for a 5th time in 4 weeks due to Transport Min. Eamon Ryan’s failure to take any action to prevent drone disruptions at Dublin Airport.”
“As always, Min Ryan promises “stronger enforcement measures” but delivers nothing.”
“Min. Ryan should explain why other EU Airports have effective drone prevention measures in place, but Dublin keeps being disrupted while he is asleep on the job.”
“Sadly, our Transport Min. is all talk and no action when it comes to drone disruptions.”
Dublin Airport Drone Closures More of an Annoyance Than Performance-Related…
For Ryanair, the Dublin Airport drone closures cause more of an annoyance in having to provide compensation than it being a reflection of overall performance.
As we will explore further, Ryanair has had a strong start to 2023, operating more flights than last year, and has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
As you can see from the data above, Ryanair achieved 2,031 movements between February 19-26, which is an increase of 2.68% compared to the same period last year.
However, this represents a staggering 182 movement increase compared to the same period in 2019.
Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data on the carrier, as provided by the flight-tracking company:
|Date||2019 Numbers||2022 Numbers||2023 Numbers||Percentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)|
|January 22-29||1825 movements||1281 movements||2126 movements||+65.96%|
|January 29-February 5||1829 movements||1889 movements||2133 movements||+12.92%|
|February 5-12||1811 movements||2005 movements||2138 movements||+6.63%|
|February 12-19||1844 movements||2013 movements||2144 movements||+6.51%|
What we can see from the data is that Ryanair is consistently out-performing from last year and also in 2019.
Should Ryanair Be Complaining?
There are arguments for and against Ryanair complaining about the use of drones causing closures at Dublin Airport.
Five closures in the last four weeks are quite a high number for an airport, so of course, that is five scenarios of disruption that cost the airlines money.
On the other hand, it isn’t adding too much of a dent into the ever-growing number of weekly flights that the Irish low-cost carrier is operating.
Either way, it is quite the annoyance of airlines for drone operators to be disrupting operations, as ultimately, the cost ends with them at the end of the day.