Ryanair and SIPTU


Madam, - I had to laugh at the Alice in Wonderland content of Padraig Yeates's letter of July 28th concerning our recent advertisements.

Granted, he is a media adviser to SIPTU, but even he is stretching fairytales a little far when he claims that the CIE "no fares day" was inaccurately represented by Ryanair as "a closure of the company".

Here's a basic lesson in economics. If CIE (the company) makes no money because its staff refuses to collect fares, then it is a "closure for the day". Of course in SIPTU wonderland this is all right because their friends in the Government will simply increase the annual subsidy of over €1 million each day just to bail out yet again this loss-making semi-state monopoly.

Mr Yeates's letter fails to address why in the name of God SIPTU closed Dublin airport when not one of its members' jobs was or is under threat as a result of separating Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

Mr Yeates, as a former Irish Times journalist, will doubtless recollect that this is the second time in five years that SIPTU has closed Dublin airport. This latest closure is even more remarkable given that Aer Rianta and the Government were charged by the Flynn and McAuley Commission with implementing measures to ensure that this essential service could not be closed again.

As for the benefits of competition which Mr Yeates queries in his letter, you only have to look at the transformation in Aer Lingus and Eircom, the improvements brought about by the private sector competition to the CIE bus monopoly, or indeed TV3 and the many local radio stations (all of which manage to grow and provide excellent services without the benefit of the licence fee monopoly granted to RTÉ) to see that competition does work, that monopolies are bad for consumers.

Among the worst of these monopoly failures is the Aer Rianta airport monopoly which continues to charge many Irish consumers more for one day's car-parking than Ryanair charges them for flights to Dublin, Paris and Brussels.

Perhaps Padraig Yeates should advise SIPTU (the Stop Irish People Travelling Union) to stop closing Dublin Airport - particularly when its members' jobs aren't threatened - because the ordinary people of this country are getting fed up of this "to hell with the consumer" trade union anarchy. - Yours, etc.,

PAUL FITZSIMMONS, Head of Communications, Ryanair, Dublin Airport, Co Dublin.