Published on December 17th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer


The DAA Offer Airlines Incentives to Kickstart Air Travel in 2021

The DAA, who operate both Dublin and Cork airports have announced new incentives for airlines to restart routes and boost air travel for the summer of 2021. The scheme will encourage airlines to resume services that have been curtailed or dropped due to COVID-19. Dublin Airport is offering a scheme which features free airport charges for airlines if certain passenger targets are met. Cork Airport is offering a competitive discount scheme to drive a recovery in passenger numbers.

DAA Chief Executive Dalton Philips

Speaking about the new incentives for airlines, DAA Chief Executive Dalton Philips said “Irish aviation has been decimated by the impact of COVID-19, and it is essential for the Irish economy that we rebuild lost connectivity as quickly as possible. The DAA is stepping up and taking the lead to help rebuild this vital sector and we’ll work closely with our airline customers and other stakeholders to stimulate growth. Ireland is one of the most open economies in the world and has a huge dependency on trade, tourism, exports and foreign direct investment. The vast majority of Ireland’s economic activity needs air connectivity, and these discount schemes will help restore vital air routes. Airports and airlines throughout the world have taken a huge financial hit this year, as route networks that had taken years to create were wiped out in a couple of months. Independent data shows that flights to and from Ireland have been more badly hit that almost any other market in Europe.”

Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are down by 77% compared to last year, while traffic at Cork is down 79%. So far this year, Dublin Airport has lost 24.4 million passengers due to the impact of COVID-19 while Cork Airport has lost almost 2 million passengers. The new stimulus package is expected to run from 28th March 2021 for a year and discounts will be offered to each airline and not triggered by the overall passenger numbers at each airport. The new deals offered by Dublin Airport show that if the airlines that served Dublin in 2019 were to carry 80% of their passengers in 2021, they would receive rebates totalling €50 million worth of airport charges. 2019 was a record year for Dublin Airport where it welcomed over 32.9 million passengers, with flights to almost 200 destinations in 43 countries operated by more than 50 airlines. 

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