Dublin Airport Authority Rejects Additional Flights Due to Passenger Cap

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) CEO Kenny Jacobs said that the airport is currently rejecting airlines that want to increase their flights to Ireland and may not be able to accommodate extra flights for one-time events until at least two years after the approval to increase the cap on passengers. 


Over a decade ago, the number of passengers allowed at Ireland's main airport was limited to 32 million when the construction of Terminal 2 was approved. In 2019, the airport almost reached that figure, and following a rapid recovery from COVID-19's air travel disturbance, it is on track to achieve or come very close to it again this year. 


The DAA plans to increase the cap to 40 million, in line with Ireland's expected population growth, as part of new infrastructure proposals to be submitted next month. Jacobs stated that the decrease in travel following Ireland's 2009 financial crisis, as well as the construction of a new runway, and the pandemic, are reasons why only now the DAA is submitting an application for a cap increase when there was already a potential demand from airlines for 35 million to 36 million passengers. 


Jacobs informed a parliamentary committee that the DAA has turned down a few airlines and informed others that they cannot expand and that they might have to do more next year. The DAA has withdrawn a growth incentive that was previously in place for airlines, and they are currently managing to the cap, refusing to encourage new growth. The cap could lead to "difficult choices" by 2024, particularly for non-scheduled or charter flights, and may mean that some fans attending May's Europa League final or Six Nations rugby match in Dublin will have to fly into Cork, Shannon, or Belfast, he added.

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