Ryanair Confronts Both Ministers Of Enterprise And Transportation <


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Ryanair Confronts Both Ministers Of Enterprise And Transportation

By Mike Mitchell  (see Irelands Ryanair Prime Ministers Lied To Public Over Hanger 6)

February 16, 2010 - Ireland’s Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary continues to feud with the Minister for Enterprise and Minister for Transportation. As a result he has asked for the Government to intervene in negotiations. Last year over 800 employees lost their jobs when SR Technics closed its facility at Dublin Airport. O'Leary disputes he could restore 300 of those jobs if he could rent or buy the hangar space at Dublin Airport a reasonable price.

Airline Ryanair on Monday published a letter it had sent to Minister for Enterprise, Mary Coughlan TD, in which Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has offered to meet with the Tánaiste today, to explain the one or two simple steps which the Minister for Enterprise could take over the coming days to secure this investment and win these 300 engineering jobs for Dublin.

“At a time when 800 former SR Technics engineers are on the dole, it is remarkable that this Minister for Enterprise has failed to do the one simple thing which is required to win a multi-million euro investment from Ryanair and which would create up to 300 jobs in the large Hangar 6 facility at Dublin Airport. Ryanair is now the world’s largest international airline, with a fleet of 210 aircraft and is one of the few airlines capable of filling this large Hangar 6 facility. We can create and sustain hundreds of well paid engineering jobs.


“Perhaps the only way to cut through the fog of this issue is to explain to the Tánaiste personally the simple steps she needs to take which would win this business back from two other competing European airports/Govts. Ryanair hopes that the Tánaiste will take up Michael O’Leary’s offer, after all what has she to lose, except perhaps another 300 jobs.” said Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara 

Letter:   TO: Ms Mary Coughlan TD, Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment 22 Kildare Street Dublin 2 Dear Mary, 

I refer to your response statement (attached) issued yesterday and your interview on RTE's Morning Ireland programme this morning, both of which were inaccurate and misleading in the following respects: 


1.  I am not sure how you expect me "to continue a dialogue with us", when there has been no dialogue with your Department whatsoever since September of last year. 

2. As a result of your failure to procure that the Hangar 6 facility be sold by the DAA to Ryanair - at arms-length terms - last September, the first 200 of these jobs were lost by Ireland last week to Glasgow Prestwick Airport, where by contrast the Scottish First Minister, the Scottish Executive, Scottish Enterprise and Glasgow Prestwick moved heaven and earth to win a €10m investment by Ryanair in a new hangar facility and 200 engineering jobs. 

3. Your claim on Morning Ireland that the hangar is no longer available is also untrue. While a small part of Hangar 6 has recently been rented by the DAA to ACT Lingus for its line maintenance operation (which created no additional jobs in the facility - since Aer Lingus1 line engineers were already employed on the ramp) there is nothing within this lease to prevent the DAA taking the facility back and moving the Aer Lingus line maintenance operation to one of the other (currently empty) smaller hangars at Dublin Airport. This would then leave the Hangar 6 facility available for sale to Ryanair. 

4. As we made clear last September we will not deal directly with the DAA, who in recent months have announced their intention to increase passenger and airline fees by 40% in 2010 (despite an ongoing collapse in traffic) and more recently have sought to double Ryanair's rents for ramp staff accommodation, despite the fact that commercial rents in Dublin generally have fallen by 50% over the last 12 months. 

5. I can think of no other example where one of the world's leading multinational companies would offer the Irish Govt 500 jobs and a substantial, sustainable long- term investment, to be met by such patent Govt inaction and lethargy. 

On Friday Ryanair accused the Minister of Transportation, Noel Dempsey of misleading the Dáil on Wednesday, February 10th, when he claimed that, “I believe that the decline in passenger numbers at (Irish) airports cannot be attributed to the imposition of the travel tax. The economic recession has had a significant impact on consumer demand for discretionary air travel throughout Europe”. 

Ryanair believes that both Minister Dempsey and the Department of Transport know that these claims are false. During 2009, while the DAA airports were losing over 4m passengers as a result of their high costs and the Govt’s €10 tourist tax, the two main Irish airlines, Ryanair and Aer Lingus, grew their traffic by over 7m passengers. The facts prove that the consumer demand for low fare air travel across Europe during this recession has increased, not fallen. The only explanation for the collapse in traffic at the Irish airports is therefore the DAA’s high and uncompetitive charges, and the Govt’s €10 tourist tax. 

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said, “This week’s statement by Minister Dempsey in the Dáil conclusively proves that he either hasn’t a clue what he is talking about, or he deliberately misled the Dáil. Minister Dempsey cannot claim that the recession is responsible for the steep traffic losses at the DAA airports last year, when during the same recession, Ryanair and Aer Lingus grew traffic by over 7m passengers last year. If the Irish airlines are growing, but the Irish airports are declining, then the problem clearly lies with the Irish airports and the Govt’s €10 tourist tax.
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