Dublin airport boss is not ruling out a cap on summer flights


THE chief executive of the DAA, the semi-public company that operates Dublin and Cork airports, said there could be a risk of a flight cap at the capital’s gateway if it were unable to cope with a surge in passenger numbers.

Due to staff shortages, some other airports in Europe – including London’s Gatwick and Amsterdam’s Schiphol – have restricted the number of flights airlines can operate during the summer peak season.

“We are working hard to avoid the type of restrictive measures that have been introduced at many international airports in recent weeks, even as risks remain, and we continue to monitor developments on an hourly basis,” said Dalton Philips, CEO of DAA. today.

Passengers at Dublin Airport experienced huge delays at security checkpoints last month, causing hundreds of passengers to miss flights.

Mr Philips spoke today as the DAA published its 2021 annual report. It made a pre-exceptional loss of €103 million for the year, compared to a pre-exceptional loss of €183 million in 2020.

The CEO said the airport operator’s losses came despite laying off more than 1,000 employees during the pandemic. The Corona crisis has caused damage of 387 million euros to the DAA in the past two years.

“Dublin Airport entered 2022 with a significantly reduced staffing capacity, a few months ahead of the steepest rise in air traffic in its history,” said Mr Philips.

“Despite the Herculean efforts of DAA staff, this discrepancy between capacity and timing has had an unfortunate impact on service delivery and quality that is currently being addressed swiftly but will likely result in strained operations in the busy summer months ahead,” he added.

Mr Philips said the DAA is continuing to hire new security officers, open more security lanes and improve its queue management systems at Dublin Airport.

He said wait times are now under 45 minutes for most passengers “but weaknesses remain”.

Passengers experience baggage handling problems at Dublin Airport, with some waiting hours for their bags at weekends.

Bags that were supposed to be delivered to passengers weeks or even months ago also appear to be stranded in the airport baggage hall.

Aer Lingus also canceled flights over the weekend due to the impact of Covid-related absences and air traffic control strikes in Europe. This caused chaos for passengers who had already traveled to Dublin Airport to catch their flights.

“Although Dublin Airport expects to double its security screening staff to 920 in the coming weeks, challenges remain,” admitted Mr Philips.

He added: “The peak volume after two years of domestic holidays and staffing challenges for the airlines and other airport partners operating check-in, baggage handling and retail and hospitality services at Dublin Airport are impacting the customer experience [the] DAA is working hard to remedy this in collaboration with our aviation partners and airlines.”

DAA’s revenue rose 11 percent to €387 million last year as pandemic-related restrictions began to ease and passengers were able to fly again. Dublin airport boss is not ruling out a cap on summer flights

Fry Electronics Team

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