Airport company pledges to keep passenger charge increases in line with inflation

DAA profits down 7% at €26 million in 2013

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. Photographer: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

 

The State company responsible for Dublin and Cork airports has pledged not to seek increases in passenger charges above inflation over the next five years.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation is due to rule later this year on a new cap for the passenger charges the State’s airports can levy on airlines, which generally pass them on to customers.

Yesterday, Kevin Toland, chief executive of Dublin Airport Authority said the company does not intend seeking any increases in these charges above the level of inflation over the next five years.

The DAA, responsible for Dublin and Cork airports, charged an average of €10.70 for each of the 22.4 million passengers through both last year.

Speaking at the publication of the company’s annual report, Mr Toland pointed out passenger numbers have grown over the two years, and stressed it did not want do anything to reverse that trend.

“I think that we will be able to drive up returns without any real increase in our charges,” he said. He added the airport company only intended asking the regulator for an increase “in line with real inflation”.

Passenger charges have been a flashpoint between the DAA and its airline customers, particularly Ryanair, which has shut down routes out of Irish airports over such costs.

Mr Toland said profits from the DAA’s core business, which excludes property joint ventures, were down 7 per cent at €26 million in 2013 from €28 million the previous year.

Group profit for the year after tax was €38 million in 2013, more than twice the €18 million it recorded in 2012.

However, last year’s surplus included a once-off €11 million gain from the sale of its airport retailing businesses in Russia and Ukraine, while 2012’s figures were hit by €22 million in restructuring charges.

The chief executive blamed various factors for the fall in profitability, including the exit from the Russian and Ukrainian operations and tougher security regulations, which drove up costs by €4 million.


Airport traffic
Passenger numbers were up 6 per cent at Dublin Airport to 20.2 million, but fell 3.5 per cent in Cork to 2.2 million, leaving the company with a net increase of 5 per cent to 22.4 million. Numbers at Cork have continued falling this year. Traffic through Dublin was up 5 per cent in the first quarter.

Aer Rianta International, which operates duty free shops in Middle Eastern airports, earned profits after tax of €18 million, and the €11 million from selling its Ukrainian and Russian operations.

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