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New Traffic Data For Dublin Airport Released; Significant Number Of Travel-Related COVID-19 Cases Recorded In Recent Days; UK Children May Not Have To Self-Isolate On Arrival To Ireland

Published on Jul 16 2021 11:51 AM in General Industry tagged: Trending Posts / Ryanair / Aer Lingus / Dublin Airport / Cork Airport / IATA / International Air Transport Association / Commission for Aviation Regulation / CAR / Eurocontrol / National Public Health Emergency Team / Nphet

New Traffic Data For Dublin Airport Released; Significant Number Of Travel-Related COVID-19 Cases Recorded In Recent Days; UK Children May Not Have To Self-Isolate On Arrival To Ireland

Daily flights at Dublin Airport were down by almost 70% on pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels to 510 over the seven days to Tuesday July 13, according to new figures from European air navigation safety organisation Eurocontrol.

As reported by The Irish Times, according Eurocontrol, Dublin Airport hosted an average of 228 daily flights in the seven days to Tuesday July 13, which was 510 or 69% fewer than during the same period in 2019.

Eurocontrol's figures reportedly indicate that 1,596 flights landed at or took off from Dublin Airport over the seven days to Tuesday July 13, which was 3,568 fewer than during the same period in 2019.

The total number of flights was reportedly up by 39 on the previous seven day period, but Eurocontrol reportedly noted that on five of the seven days, totals were down on the corresponding day the previous week.

Dublin Airport reportedly hosted 8,000-11,000 passengers a day in June, which was more than 90% less than the 115,000 who would normally be expected to pass through the airport daily during the summer period.

Sources have reportedly calculated that the figure is likely to increase to approximately 20,000 from July 19, when non-essential journeys will be permitted to resume.

A Dublin Airport spokesperson reportedly said that described the impending resumption of international travel as welcome, but added that  "any recovery is going to be slow and gradual."

Eurocontrol has reportedly calculated that, overall, Dublin Airport has lost 251,826 flights since March of 2020.

Opposition To Calls For New Regulatory Model

The news of Eurocontrol's new figures for Dublin Airport came as airlines including Aer Lingus and Ryanair, as well as the main representative body of Irish pilots, opposed calls by the airport for a new regulatory model to be introduced to determine the level of airport charges.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents leading international airlines, reportedly said that Dublin Airport is engaged in a "deliberate attempt" to reduce the level of scrutiny it receives from the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR).

Dublin Airport reportedly claims that the current model, which fixes charges on a five-year basis, is poorly suited to the level of uncertainty and volatility in the aviation industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that there is a need to review how regulatory forecasts are set and how risk is allocated between the airport operator and other airport users.

Dublin Airport has reportedly recommended the introduction of a "shadow price cap", or, alternatively, a price monitoring regulatory oversight arrangement rather than the existing model of price caps, and under its shadow price proposal, Dublin Airport would reportedly seek to reach agreement on price, service quality and investment outcomes with airlines, individually or otherwise, as part of multi-year contracts.

The regulator reportedly would still have a role, setting a shadow price control that would apply where an agreement could not be reached between the airport and airlines.

ROI Airports Flight Data And Air Travel In Europe

Looking beyond Dublin Airport, new Eurocontrol data reportedly indicates that the Republic of Ireland's airports hosted 313 flights on Sunday July 11, ranking it 23rd in Europe, while the seven-day average to July 13 reportedly put the Republic in 36th position.

Eurocontrol and several other organisations have reportedly said that air travel in Europe recovered to approximately 60% of 2019 levels this month.

Aer Lingus reportedly said this that it has confirmed 38 services to Europe from Dublin and Cork airports this summer, and that demand is growing for destinations in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Croatia.

Aer Lingus chief strategy and planning officer Reid Moody reportedly said that customers are increasingly searching online for flights to European cities, and, "We have also seen strong interest in travel to some of our leading holiday destinations as customers book a much-needed getaway."

Significant Number Of Travel-Related Cases Of COVID-19 In Recent Days

However, medical experts have warned that there has been a significant number of travel-related cases of COVID-19 in recent days.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn reportedly said that there has been 626 travel-related cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, which account for 8.4% of the total cases during the period and is equal to one in 10 of all cases where contact tracers could identify the source.

Glynn reportedly said, "A significant number of our positive cases over the past fortnight have been in Spain in the previous days. Spain, Britain and Portugal are particular high numbers."

Glynn said that the global picture is worsening, with cases increasing by 10% in a week.

Chairman of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) epidemiological modelling advisory group, Professor Philip Nolan reportedly said that while the predictions are pessimistic and at the higher end of where experts believe cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 cases would go, "we don’t expect that to be sustained, but it is important to note where we stand right now".

Children From The UK May Not Have To Self-Isolate On Arrival To Ireland

The above warnings about travel-related COVID-19 cases came as The Irish Times reportedly learned that senior officials in the Department of Health are considering allowing unvaccinated children over 12 from the UK avoid the requirement to self-isolate on arrival to Ireland.

According to The Irish Times, under plans being discussed, over-12s will still need to produce a pre-flight negative PCR test, and will still be required to take a "day five" test after arriving to Ireland, but will not have to self-isolate in between.

This news comes as chief medical officer Doctor Tony Holohan is advising that children should not be brought into indoor hospitality settings.

Discussions are reportedly ongoing about the precise travel advice to be given when Ireland resumes international travel.

The travel advice is being formed against a backdrop where high levels of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Ireland have mitigated many of the reasons for tighter restrictions on arrivals from in the UK.

Some in the government have reportedly argued that close alignment in travel from the UK would be best, however, sources reportedly said that that must be balanced against a deteriorating COVID-19 picture overall, and concerns from the chief medical officer.

However, Minister of State Ossian Smyth reportedly raised the possibility of loosening restrictions on arrivals from the UK, and reportedly said at the transport committee this that from July 19 unvaccinated arrivals from the UK will not have to isolate if they had a clear PCR test, and that that is subject to clarification or a government decision. Sources reportedly said that such a step could be considered, but has not been agreed.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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