Dublin Airport manager says it will meet Christmas demand

Row continues between DAA and Ryanair over festive travel

Dublin Airport will have enough security to meet Christmas demand, its owner DAA told politicians in the latest twist in a festive travel row with Ryanair.

Ryanair wants Dublin to keep all 15 security lanes in terminal one open and staffed between 5:00am and 6:00pm from Thursday December 15th to Monday January 9th.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary warned the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport that if all lanes are not open at 5:00am, this will lead to long queues, as terminal one cannot catch up once numbers build.

A letter from Catherine Gubbins, DAA interim chief executive, to the committee, states that Dublin will “open as many lanes as required to meet expected demand during the airport’s busiest times”.


DAA maintains that hourly passenger forecasts determine the number of open lanes and argues that it is neither efficient nor needed to keep them all open all the time.

Dublin Airport expects 90,000 passengers, 45,000 each way, on its busiest Christmas days, similar to 2019 festive numbers.

Ms Gubbins says it has handled more travellers than this on 40 different days this year, with no undue delays.

Since July, more than 97 per cent of all passengers have gone through security in 30 minutes or less, she states.

“DAA’s role is to effectively manage the total Dublin Airport operation for all of the airlines and passengers who use it, rather than any single airline in isolation, and such targeted planning and resource allocation represents the most efficient and effective means of achieving this,” she says.

Ms Gubbins wrote the letter answering questions from the committee prompted by Mr O’Leary’s response to an earlier letter that DAA had sent to the body on the same issue.

Mr O’Leary’s letter says 30 minutes or less is not acceptable, as the target is 15 minutes or less.

Ryanair expects 12 per cent more travellers than Christmas 2019, and accounts for most of terminal one traffic, and Mr O’Leary predicts numbers there will be much higher this year.

He argues that DAA’s “general and vague forecasts” do not address the key issue, namely whether all terminal one security lanes will be open from December 15th to January 9th.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas