Ireland’s airports to get €23m in State aid

Cash earmarked as part of €80m Government aviation support fund

Dublin Airport is set to get €17.7 million. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Dublin Airport is set to get €17.7 million. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

Ireland's airports will get €23 million in State aid through a scheme confirmed by the Government on Friday.

The Government last year earmarked €26 million, from an overall €80 million aviation support fund, to compensate airports for Covid-19 travel ban losses dating back to April 2020.

Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said on Friday the Government would split €20 million of this between Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports.

The State would hand out the remaining €6 million in two phases to Donegal, Kerry and Knock airports.

The Government allocated half the €6 million due to the regional airports on Friday.

According to a statement, the department will distribute the balance following an assessment of the airports’ losses in December this year.

Pro-rata to passengers

Under the deal announced, Dublin Airport will receive €17.7 million, Knock will get €1.9 million, Cork €1.4 million, Shannon €920,000, Kerry €913,665 and Donegal €142,342.

Ms Naughton explained that the Government had allocated the cash pro-rata based on 2019 passenger numbers at each airport.

Dublin handled almost 33 million of the 38 million people that passed through the Republic’s airports that year.

The Minister noted that the State was providing the aid ahead of the lifting of travel bans next Monday, July 19th.

Route incentives

“As travel restrictions begin to lift, I am also hopeful that this funding may assist in restoring connectivity by affording our State airports greater flexibility in their capacity to offer route incentives, in consultation with airlines,” Ms Naughton added.

State company Dublin Airport Authority, responsible for Cork and Dublin airports, announced on Friday it was launching an ad campaign to lure Irish people back to international travel.

Chief executive Dalton Philips said the past 16 months of restrictions aimed at combatting Covid-19 had a devastating impact on airlines and airports.

“As we approach July 19th, we are looking ahead to rebuilding our business and supporting our industry.”