Dublin and Cork airports operator DAA has published its annual report.
According to a statement published on DAA.ie, cumulative DAA group losses during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 were €387 million, with DAA's loss last year being €103 million following major cost reductions, while passenger numbers increased by 10% year-on-year in 2021 to 8.7 million, which followed 35.5 in pre-pandemic 2019, and €163 million was invested in capital infrastructure projects last year, following €270 million in 2020.
Current (June/July 2022) passenger numbers through Dublin Airport are set to exceed pre-pandemic 2019 levels, according to the statement published on DAA.ie, which also noted that year-to-date Dublin Airport passenger numbers are up by 1,085% year-on-year, and year-to-date Cork Airport passengers are up 2,399% year-on-year.
Statement By DAA Chief Executive
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The statement published on DAA.ie included a statement from DAA chief executive Dalton Phillips that said, "Despite over 1,000 employees leaving the business through a combination of a voluntary severance scheme, career breaks, staff attrition and the non-backfill of roles at the height of the pandemic and other major cost-cutting efforts, DAA has reported COVID-related losses of over €387 million over the past 2 years. As a result, Dublin Airport entered 2022 with significantly diminished staffing capacity, some months ahead of the steepest rise in air travel in its history. Despite the Herculean efforts of DAA employees, this capacity and timing mismatch has had a regrettable impact on service delivery and quality that is being addressed at pace but will likely result in strained operations through the coming busy, summer months.
"Though Dublin Airport expects to have doubled its security screening staff to 920 staff over the coming weeks, challenges remain. Peak volumes after two years of domestic vacationing, alongside staffing challenges facing the airlines and other airport partners that operate at Dublin Airport across check-in, baggage handling, and retail and hospitality services, are impacting customer experience, something daa is working hard to address in collaboration with our aviation partners and airlines.
"We continue to add new security officers, open more security lanes, improve our queue management systems, deploy triage when appropriate, and draw on our company-wide taskforce to minimise queues and improve our passengers' experience. As a result, queue wait times through Dublin Airport security screening are now sub 45 minutes for most passengers, but vulnerabilities remain. We are working hard to avoid the types of restrictive measures introduced in many international airports over recent weeks, albeit risks remain, and we continue to monitor developments on an hourly basis.
"We will continue to provide passenger and stakeholder updates via our website and social media. In the interim, we wish to thank our passengers for their forbearance and our staff for their enormous commitment and resilience over recent months and indeed over the past two years."
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