Ryanair moves aircraft and staff in response to Dublin traffic cap

A Ryanair 737 taxis at Dublin Airport.
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ryanair has issued an urgent call to action this week, urging Green Transport Minister, Eamon Ryan, to address the pressing issue of Dublin Airport’s traffic cap.

The airline disclosed its decision to redirect three aircraft, 16 new routes, and relocate over 200 jobs to Southern Italy due to the restrictions imposed by the artificial traffic cap.

This move has served to highlight the scale of the cap’s impact on Ireland’s aviation industry and economy.

Impact of the Traffic Cap at Dublin Airport

Loss of Aircraft and Routes

The imposition of the traffic cap has directly resulted in the diversion of crucial resources away from Dublin Airport.

Ryanair’s redirection of aircraft and routes signifies a significant setback for the airport, hindering its capacity for growth and development.


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Job Losses

Moreover, the relocation of over 200 airline jobs to Southern Italy highlights the tangible consequences of the traffic cap on broader employment opportunities within the aviation sector.

These job losses not only affect individuals directly employed by Ryanair but also have broader implications for the economy.

2.8m People Used Dublin Airport in October: What About the Cuts?
Photo Credit: Dublin Airport.

Eamon Ryan’s Response and Criticisms

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan‘s response to the situation has drawn criticism for its perceived inaction and misplaced priorities.

Despite asserting the traffic cap as a “planning matter,” Ryan has failed to intervene effectively, contrasting sharply with his active involvement in other infrastructure projects.

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, has expressed profound discontent with Minister Ryan’s handling of the issue.

“Dublin Airport has today lost 3 aircraft, 16 routes and over 200 jobs to Southern Italy as a direct result of Transport Minister Ryan’s inaction and incompetence, said O’Leary this week.

“His own aviation policy commits him to growing Irish aviation and tourism, but instead of delivering growth, after 4 years as Transport Minister, he has delivered a traffic cap at Dublin Airport which could last for 3 or 4 years if left to a couple of county councillors in Fingal and Ireland’s archaic planning system.”

O’Leary emphasizes Dublin Airport’s pivotal role as Ireland’s primary gateway and denounces the adverse effects of the traffic cap on aviation and tourism growth.

“Traffic growth at Dublin Airport cannot be fobbed off by a Green Minister to the planning process. He should intervene to lift this cap on an interim basis or quit,” continued O’Leary.

“He has no problem intervening in the planning process for the airport metro and he should now do likewise with the Dublin Airport traffic cap.”

Dublin Airport’s Importance

As the main entry point for travelers to Ireland, Dublin Airport plays a crucial role in facilitating tourism and economic activity. Any impediments to its operations directly undermine the country’s competitiveness and attractiveness as a destination.

Consequences of Inaction

The repercussions of Minister Ryan’s inaction extend beyond immediate losses, jeopardizing the long-term sustainability of Ireland’s aviation sector.

The redirection of traffic to other EU airports signifies a significant missed opportunity for economic growth and development.

The urgent need for action is underscored by the profound economic impact of the traffic cap. Ireland’s competitiveness in the global tourism market hinges on the efficient functioning of Dublin Airport, making swift resolution imperative.

The prolonged imposition of the traffic cap threatens to stifle economic growth and undermine Ireland’s recovery from the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Addressing this issue is essential to safeguarding jobs and fostering a conducive environment for investment and innovation.

Furthermore, the diversion of routes and traffic away from Dublin Airport impedes tourism growth, depriving the country of valuable revenue and opportunities for cultural exchange.

Minister Ryan’s failure to address this issue potentially jeopardizes Ireland’s standing as a premier tourist destination.

Call to Action: Lifting the Traffic Cap

Interim Measures

In light of the urgency of the situation, immediate interim measures are warranted to alleviate the constraints imposed by the traffic cap, says Ryanair.

According to the Irish carrier, Minister Ryan must demonstrate proactive leadership by instructing Dublin Airport to lift the cap temporarily, pending a resolution to the planning process.

Legislative Solutions

Alternatively, legislative intervention may be necessary to expedite the resolution of the traffic cap issue.

The government should consider passing legislation to raise the cap temporarily, providing the aviation industry with the flexibility needed to navigate the planning process effectively.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
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