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Dublin Airport promises not to follow Heathrow and cap departure numbers


Dublin Airport (stock image).

Dublin Airport (stock image).

Dublin Airport (stock image).

There are no plans to introduce a cap on the number of flights at Dublin Airport, despite London’s Heathrow introducing a daily limit on departing passenger numbers until September, it is understood.

Heathrow became the latest major European airport to limit passenger numbers as gateways struggle to cope with a surge in air travel following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

The London hub will limit the number of daily departing passengers to 100,000 until September 11.

“We have started to see periods when service drops to a level that is not acceptable – long queue times, delays for passengers requiring assistance, bags not travelling with passengers or arriving late, low punctuality and last-minute cancellations,” Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said.

DAA, which runs Dublin and Cork airports, was recently forced to ask Defence Forces personnel to be on emergency standby in case security waiting times threatened to result in passengers missing flights.

While security queues have reduced since chaotic scenes at the airport in May, passengers are still experiencing huge delays in recovering their luggage.

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Baggage-handling services at Dublin Airport are provided by third-party companies and airlines.

DAA recently had its two busiest weeks since 2019, with the number of daily departing passengers at 50,000.

Over the course of this week, just over 700,000 people will pass through the airport, including 350,000 departing passengers.

Dublin Airport handled more than 2.8 million travellers last month.

It said three out of every four passengers passed through security in less than 30 minutes and 93pc got through in under 45.

Mr Holland-Kaye said yesterday that some airlines using Heathrow had responded positively to efforts to remove flights from their summer schedules, with no penalty, in an attempt to curb demand at the airport.

“We held off putting additional controls on passenger numbers until this amnesty process concluded last Friday and we had a clearer view of the reductions that airlines have made,” he said.

“Some airlines have taken significant action, but others have not, and we believe that further is needed now to ensure passengers have a safe and reliable journey.

“We have therefore made the difficult decision to introduce a capacity cap with effect from July 12 to September 11. Similar measures to control passenger demand have been implemented at other airports both in the UK and around the world.

Graeme McQueen, media relations manager with DAA, said that while other airports around Europe had had to cancel flights, Dublin Airport had avoided such action.

“While many thousands of families in the UK and other European countries have seen their summer holidays wiped out by flight cancellations, the hard work of our staff, combined with the rollout of effective contingency plans at Dublin Airport, is ensur-
ing that Irish families are getting away this summer,” he said.

Meanwhile, four more Aer Lingus flights and two SAS flights using Dublin Airport have been cancelled today,

For departures, the 9.30am Aer Lingus ‘Mystery Flight’, EI9350, has been called off as well as the 7.50pm SAS flight to Oslo, SK4604.

Inbound flights axed include three by Aer Lingus from the US and one by SAS from Oslo.

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