US airlines are demanding that Minister Eamon Ryan take urgent action against Dublin's airport crisis

US airlines are demanding that Minister Eamon Ryan take urgent action against Dublin’s airport crisis

A group representing major North American airlines has written to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan demanding urgent action following “significant delays” and other issues that have damaged their services to and from the capital.

In the correspondence, American, Delta, United and Air Canada have warned the government that the delay crisis at the airport is damaging travelers’ impressions of Ireland, the airport and the airlines.

The airline group has also complained that their premium business class passengers are “forced to stand in the general queue” at Dublin Airport even though they have paid “significant sums” to use fast lanes and should be allowed to use them.

The four airlines have written to Mr Ryan under the umbrella of the influential lobby group Airlines for America (A4A) based in Washington DC.

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They have sought a meeting to discuss potential solutions as the peak of the hectic summer season approaches.

The letter was sent to Mr Ryan last week and comes after more than 1,000 passengers missed their flights at Dublin Airport during the last weekend in May in the middle of chaotic scenes.

“As is well documented in international media reports, A4A members and other airlines have experienced significant delays in Dublin in recent times,” said the letter from Keith Glatz, A4A’s Vice President of International Affairs.

The letter is also addressed to Minister of Tourism Catherine Martin.

“We believe this issue will become even more acute as the number of passengers increases during the high summer travel season,” Glatz added.

He said the airlines were experiencing a “very hectic” summer season in and out of Dublin, with more passengers than they carried in the summer of 2019.

Between them, the North American airlines operate 13 destinations from Dublin, including Chicago, New York, Dallas, Toronto, Boston and Philadelphia.

Delta expects to handle nearly 1,500 arriving and departing passengers a day from the capital, while United expects close to 1,600 and US nearly 2,000. Air Canada will handle more than 1,300.

“Without appropriate measures to deal with the increase in passenger volume, our passengers will continue to experience significant delays and missed connections,” Glatz said in the letter.

He pointed out that in May, only 1 6.7 of Air Canada’s flights departing from Dublin were on time.

Only half of Americans’ flights went according to schedule, while 23 of Delta’s and just under 27 of United’s managed to take off on time.

“These delays and missed connections disturb the passengers and disturb [the] airport and airport operations, ”he said.

Mr Glatz said airlines were also concerned that passengers with reduced mobility would in some cases be “stranded” at the airport “for long periods without a wheelchair or other necessary assistance”.

He said that A4A also understands that the government will not allow the DAA to issue temporary security passes to ground service personnel who are abroad. He said issuing such passports would help alleviate congestion at the airport.

A spokeswoman for Mr Ryan last night said the letter and the request for a meeting were being considered.

She said Ryan and Secretary of State Hildegarde Naughton would hold “regular” meetings with Dublin Airport CEO Dalton Philips and his management team, which she said will “continue until ministers are convinced the difficulties remaining at the airport have been resolved satisfactorily”.

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