General Industry

Ryanair Warns Irish Growth Plans Blocked By Dublin Airport Cap

By Reuters
Ryanair Warns Irish Growth Plans Blocked By Dublin Airport Cap

Ryanair plans to grow traffic in its home market of Ireland by 50% by 2030 are being blocked by a passenger cap at Dublin airport, chief executive Michael O'Leary said on Thursday.

The number of passengers permitted at Ireland's main airport each year is capped at 32 million. The airport came close to hitting the cap last year and it expects a planning application to increase it to 40 million to take at least two years to go through.

Just under half of Ryanair's planned Irish traffic growth to 30 million by 2030 from 20 million in 2023 is earmarked for Dublin, and this will continue to go to other European cities if the cap is not lifted sooner, O'Leary said.

Summer Schedule

Meanwhile, Ryanair will receive even fewer Boeing aircraft by the end of June than previously expected, CEO Michael O'Leary said last week, potentially causing the budget carrier to cut its summer schedule at the busiest time of the year.

The Dublin-based airline is the first in Europe to warn of disruption due a deepening crisis at Boeing, which has been mired in a regulatory audit and has been prohibited from ramping up 737 MAX production since the January 5 mid-air panel blowout of a new Alaska Airlines MAX 9.


Ryanair was due to receive 57 Boeing MAX 8200 planes by end-April, but just over a week ago Boeing told the airline it would receive around 50 aircraft by end-June, O'Leary said. That could now change.


"We don't really know how many aircraft we're going to get from Boeing," O'Leary told a media briefing. "We're pretty sure we're going to get 30 to 40. We're reasonably confident we're between 40 and 45. And now we are far less confident we're going to get between 45 and 50."

Separately, two industry sources told Reuters Boeing has informed its MAX customers that there could be a slippage in plane deliveries, citing recent events.

The US planemaker, however, has not yet determined how many planes it would not be able to deliver this year, they said.


In a statement to Reuters, Boeing confirmed it had told some airlines that deliveries could be delayed. It said its delivery schedules were 'dynamic' as it would take the time needed to ensure its planes are of 'high quality' and meet all regulatory standards.


'We deeply regret the impact this is having on our valued customer Ryanair,' Boeing said. 'We're working to address their concerns and taking action on a comprehensive plan to strengthen 737 quality and delivery performance.'

Record Summer Travel

The delays mean Ryanair might have to remove some flights from its summer schedule, O'Leary said, cutting capacity for what is expected to be a record summer of travel.

"If we only get 40, by the end of March we will have to announce some minor schedule cuts," he said.

That means Ryanair is likely to carry only 200 million passengers for the financial year beginning in April, versus the 205 million previously forecast.

Capacity Constraints

Further capacity constraints could make the carrier less competitive against low-cost rivals like easyJet.

Ryanair's stock has risen by a quarter over the past two years, making it the best performing European airline as the industry rides a post-pandemic boom in travel.