Friday, 13 April 2007

Ryanair 'won't use' terminal if it's built

The oral hearing starts Monday, so here's the early exchanges:

RYANAIR has repeated its threat to go to court in an attempt to block plans for a new 15 million passenger terminal at Dublin airport, writes Fergus Black. As a public hearing into the project prepares to get under way on Monday, the budget airline said it would seek a judicial review if An Bord Pleanala gave the terminal the go ahead.

If that does not succeed, the airline said it would go to the European Court in a bid to halt the construction of the terminal on the grounds of "abuse of monopoly power".

Should that attempt fail, Ryanair says it will not use the second terminal when it opens for business in 2009.

Yesterday, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary took journalists on a "reconnaissance flight" to Germany to demonstrate how terminals at Frankfurt Hahn and Bremen airports could be built up to 10 times cheaper.

Earlier this month, the airline opened its 19th European base in Bremen, claiming it had bought a maintenance hangar and developed it as a second terminal for €10.4m

Mr O'Leary said Frankfurt Hahn's proposed second terminal would be built for €60m with a capacity for 15 million passengers - 12 times less than the €750m Ryanair claims the DAA intends spending on the second terminal.

But the DAA said comparisons between Dublin and minor airports such as Hahn, were "meaningless". The authority said the terminal would cost €395m.

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