Ryanair Calls On Minister Varadkar To Reverse Airport, Train And Bus Price Hikes To Stop “The Gathering” Becoming “The Grabbing”

2012-12-03 — /travelprnews.com/ — Ryanair today (3 Dec) called on Minister Leo Varadkar to reverse the recently announced 2013 price increases at the DAA airport monopoly and the Government-controlled CIE train and bus monopolies to prevent visitors coming to Ireland for “The Gathering” in 2013 being ripped-off by the Government-owned, high-priced transport providers.

Speaking at an aviation conference in Dublin today, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

“The much-hyped “Gathering” in 2013 is just another PR stunt, since it won’t address or significantly increase seat capacity of airlines flying to Ireland in 2013. Instead, it allows the Dept of Transport’s monopoly providers – the DAA, CIE/Iarnrod Eireann and Bus Eireann – to further hike prices by double digit percentages (up to 10 times inflation). Any new visitors coming to Ireland in 2013 will be ripped-off by the very Government that purports to welcome them.

If the Dept of Transport is really committed to welcoming visitors to Ireland in 2013, then it should be: (1) cutting airport charges: (2) lowering bus and rail fares instead of hiking them yet again; and (3) taking up Ryanair’s offer to significantly grow passenger numbers instead of protecting the failed, high-cost DAA monopoly.

Since there is no significant increase in airline seat capacity to/from Ireland in 2013, any new visitors coming to Ireland for “The Gathering” will simply displace other passengers who are already flying here. The much-trumpeted increase in transatlantic seats in 2013 equates to a miserable 1% of actual passenger volume in 2012. The DAA monopoly is failing dismally to attract higher volume short-haul business by refusing to offer commercially competitive prices. This is why Ryanair is expanding rapidly in Europe while traffic at the three DAA airports continues to decline.

If Minister Varadkar fails to reverse these recently announced price increases by the DAA and CIE, which he owns and controls, then The Gathering should be renamed “The Grabbing”, since every visitor to Ireland in 2013 will be ripped-off by the Government’s air travel tax, higher DAA charges and unjustified increases in rail and bus fares by the tax payer-subsidised CIE monopoly.

This is the latest example of why Ireland’s tourism industry is struggling. It is controlled and operated by a Department of Transport whose policy failures result in Irish consumers and visitors being gouged in order to finance its inefficient transport monopolies. The Irish economy urgently needs a radical agenda which delivers passengers and jobs instead of conferences, which substitute waffle for action.”