Tralee Chamber Expresses Concern About Ryanair’s Involvement In Kerry-Dublin Route

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TRALEE Chamber has issued a statement expressing its concern over what they say appears to be a rushed decision with inadequate consultation, to award the Kerry-Dublin Flight to Ryanair.

They say the decision by the Department of Transport to seemingly award the contract to Ryanair, without due diligence for the fast-tracked tender process for a PSO supported flight, could lead to devastating results for Kerry Airport.

Their statement comes hours after Kerry Airport CEO, John Mulhern, said there has been no formal discussion between Ryanair and Kerry Airport about the Kerry Dublin route.

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“On face-value it is a very welcome announcement to see a resumption of the Kerry-Dublin flight, and Ryanair are a valued partner in this, especially as Ryanair currently provide critical international connectivity through Kerry Airport, a service very much in demand and valued in normal times by the public,” reads the statement from Tralee Chamber.

It continues; “However, a serious question mark must be raised with the Minister for Transport as to whether there is any long-term intent from Ryanair to maintain the Dublin-Kerry flight or whether other narratives are at play in the decision to take on the route without the PSO.

“Currently the operator is advertising one flight per day from Kerry to Dublin which is wholly inadequate, with a minimum of two-flights per day required to enable same day return business to be conducted in Dublin. Regardless of whatever short-term logistical reasons, a firm commitment is required from the operators of the Dublin-Kerry flight to return to a two-per-day schedule of flights from Kerry Airport to Dublin, and at times most suited to the demand.”

Tralee Chamber is also calling on Minister Eamonn Ryan to ensure the PSO support is retained should Ryanair at some point decide to pull their support for the Dublin-Kerry flight.

Ken Tobin CE of Tralee Chamber said; “While we admire Ryanair for their commercial shrewdness, we only have to remember back to the near-closure of Kerry Airport back in 2011 when Ryanair pulled the plug on the Dublin flight.

If the contract is to be awarded officially, we would ask that firstly they engage with the Management of Kerry Airport to agree terms, but secondly and more critically that the Minister for Transport ensure that the PSO support is retained for the Dublin-Kerry flight. There is always a concern that Kerry Airport may become collateral damage should demand for the Kerry-Dublin flight be undermined intentionally or otherwise at some point in the near future”.

Whilst the best of success must be given to Ryanair as the potential operators of the Kerry-Dublin flight as a critical service to Kerry, we are calling on Ryanair to proactively and immediately engage with Kerry Airport to allay any concerns and to formally agree terms, and are firstly asking on Minister Eamonn Ryan to ensure his Department’s support to assist discussions to agree terms that ensure the flights are best suited to the needs of Kerry Airports and the wider economy of Kerry, and secondly we are seeking an absolute guarantee that the PSO support will be on standby as a vital safety net for the route should it be required in the near future,” he concluded.

One Comment

  1. John Higgs says:

    Mr Tobin if you recall you will find the government did the move on Ryanair when Air Aran pulled out of Kerry with the reduced funding.