Dublin airport's T2 unveiled

Fri, Nov 19, 2010, 00:00

Dublin airport's new terminal – known as T2 – opened today. Aer Lingus will be the only airline to use the €600 million terminal until Tuesday, when it is due to be joined by Etihad Airways.

Aer Lingus has advised all passengers “to report to Terminal 1 for check in as normal until further notice”.

The airline said customers should continue to check-in via the web and at the check-in kiosks in Terminal 1. It would not say which flights have been selected for “proving flights”, because it wanted to avoid confusion among passengers.

A statement from the airline said it would operate “a range” of European services in and out of Terminal 2 over coming weeks. It said it wanted “to ensure a smooth transition of its operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 in January, avoiding the Christmas holiday period when the airport is traditionally very busy”.

In the interim a spokeswoman reiterated passengers should continue to head for Terminal 1 “until further notice”.

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) had initially hoped flights would start operating from the new terminal as early as last month in advance of the official opening. It had also hoped transatlantic services operated by Aer Lingus, Delta, Continental Airlines and US Airways would operate from T2 on December 7th.

However, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority indicated it would not be ready to transfer operations to the new terminal until the new year, a move which affected all US carriers planning to use the new terminal.

A DAA spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the December 7th deadline for US flights would not be met, but referred all other questions on scheduling to the airlines themselves. She said questions on the US facilities should be addressed to CBP authority.

Last July, DAA chief executive Declan Collier said trial flights would use T2 from October. It would, he said, “transform the passenger experience at Dublin airport, offering customers a modern user-friendly facility that will provide a platform for a more rapid return to growth”.

The new terminal is expected to create 500 jobs, including positions in security, cleaning, customer service and passenger processing.

The airport authority said about 400 new jobs would be created in the retail and catering elements of T2, “but given the nature of airport operations the total employed will be well over 1,000 as the jobs will be a mixture of full and part-time positions”.