Ryanair charges explode over last 3 years

Ryanair, the world’s most hated airline, have recently been moaning at the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) – see earlier post: “Ryanair losing the plot again – about a 10 euro passenger tax levied on arriving passengers into Dublin.

Dublin Airport has the lowest passenger charge of any major airport in Europe and the recent fall in traffic is directly related to the global economic downturn.

It is astounding that Ryanair is complaining about facilities at Dublin Airport, given that over the past ten years Ryanair has opposed every single development aimed at improving the passenger experience at Dublin Airport.

Airport charges at Dublin Airport have seen some minor increases over the past three years after almost two decades during which charges fell significantly. During the same three-year period, according to recent independently verified figures, Ryanair’s own charges have exploded:

  • Ryanair’s baggage check-in charge has increased by 600% since 2006
  • The charge for using a credit card to book a Ryanair flight has increased by 285% since 2006
  • The cost of changing a Ryanair flight booking has increased by 66% since 2006
  • The cost of carrying sports equipment  on a Ryanair flight has increased by 97% since 2006

The air travel tax that was announced in the most recent Budget is a government tax aimed at generating revenue for the State and is in no way linked to passenger charges at Dublin Airport. DAA’s three Irish airports will not receive a single cent from the new tax and will continue to be funded from passenger charges, commercial income and borrowings.

Ryanair’s recent negative comments about DAA’s commercial income are also baffling, as Ryanair passengers – and the passengers of all other airlines – benefit directly from any commercial income earned at Dublin Airport in the form of subsidised passenger charges.

With regards to the reduction in operations from Dublin, Ryanair is taking a commercial decision aimed at maximising its own profits. As always, Ryanair seeks to blame someone else for its decision and, in the process, generate some free publicity. When economic conditions improve, Ryanair will be one of the first airlines to expand its routes and services out of Dublin.

In its own stock exchange statements, Ryanair proves conclusively that Dublin Airport is good for its business.  Dublin Airport accounted for five of Ryanair’s top ten routes, in its most recent financial year. Ryanair’s two most successful routes in its entire European network were Dublin-Stansted and Dublin-Gatwick.*

* Source Ryanair 20F (Annual Report) for the year ending 31 March 2008, filed with the US Securities and Commission (SEC)