DUBLIN AIRPORT CHARGES
Sir, I refer to your editorial regarding the Baldonnel proposal (January 9th). I would like to correct a few inaccuracies in this article.
Airport charges at Dublin Airport are amongst the lowest in Europe, our rates being 45th lowest out of 48 airports surveyed in a recent independent study.
These rates have not increased since 1987, representing in real terms a reduction of over 20 per cent to our airline customers or a total saving of £36 million to them in that period. In addition, we have introduced very attractive discount schemes for all airlines which have significantly reduced their costs and helped the development of low cosy air travel at our three Aer Rianta airports.
These current incentive schemes, with discounts of up to 80 per cent, run for a full eight, not the three years quoted in your editorial. It is worth noting, to instance, that any airline would pay less than 50p per single passenger journey in the first year and an average of approximately £1.00 for the first four years of operation for any new services from Dublin. It is difficult to believe that such nominal charges could impact adversely on the economics of any new route.
Over the past seven years, Aer Rianta has contributed £100m to the Exchequer whilst maintaining our airport charges at these very low levels. Our duty free income, a major contributor to our profits, is under serious threat in 1999. However. in addition to our planned investment we will contribute increased annual dividends to the Exchequer during this period and we are currently talking to our airline customers with a view to reducing our charges further. - Yours, etc..
Press & public relations manager,