DAA boss Jacobs holds shares in three airline groups

Shareholdings in airlines run by Ryanair, AIG and Lufthansa predate appointment to CEO and are included in SIPO returns - DAA says

DAA chief executive Kenny Jacobs told an Oireachtas committee hearing that he had shares in 12 airlines operating out of Dublin Airport. Photograph: Tommy Dickson

Kenny Jacobs, the chief executive of the DAA, has shares in airline groups Ryanair, IAG and Lufthansa, each of which has multiple airlines operating out of Dublin Airport.

Mr Jacobs told the Oireachtas committee on transport this week that he had a portfolio of shares in 12 airlines that operate out of Dublin Airport.

He was responding to questions from Duncan Smith, the Labour Party’s spokesman on transport, about his former role as chief marketing officer of Ryanair, which as a company rewards its executives with share-based remuneration.

Mr Jacobs said he owned “stock in 12 airlines – including Ryanair – who operate in Dublin Airport”.


He said he didn’t believe this constituted a conflict of interest “given it’s 12 different airlines who are all customers of Dublin Airport, I don’t think it’s a conflict”.

Mr Jacobs further stated that “I think owning 12 – not owning one or two in particular – I don’t think is a conflict”.

It has now emerged that Mr Jacobs owns shares in just three different airline companies, Ryanair, IAG and Lufthansa, each of whom has a number of subsidiary airlines, which Mr Jacobs had aggregated in his counting of the number of airlines operating out of Dublin.

Ryanair, for example, owns a number of subsidiary airlines such as Malta Air, Buzz, and Lauda Europe, alongside its own Ryanair brand.

IAG owns British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa is the operator of a number of subsidiary airlines such as Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, and Eurowings, among others.

When contacted by The Irish Times, a spokesman for the DAA said: “Mr Jacobs holds legacy shareholdings in three airline groups that predate his joining DAA. These holdings, which remain unchanged, were fully disclosed by Mr Jacobs in all returns made to SIPO since taking up the CEO role.”

The DAA did not provide any further information on the size of Mr Jacobs’s stake in the companies, or when he had acquired the shares.

In an additional statement Basil Geoghegan, the chairman of the DAA said: “As CEO and a member of the board, Mr Jacobs has complied with the relevant corporate governance and State ethics disclosure requirements.”

Mr Jacobs was appointed to the role of chief executive in November 2022 and formally took up the position in January 2023, replacing Dalton Philips. He is 18 months into a seven-year term. He was previously chief marketing officer at Ryanair, before stepping down in June 2020.

The DAA operates Dublin and Cork airports.