Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, today sought assurances from Dublin Airport Authority MD, Vincent Harrison, that there would be no repeat of the recent mass-cancellation of flights at Dublin Airport over the Christmas period.
The Dublin Fingal TD said:
“Public confidence in Dublin Airport took a hammering in May following the Dublin Airport Authority’s indefensible failure to prepare for the entirely predictable upsurge in travel this year.
“Mayhem and stressful scenes of flight cancellations, lengthy delays and unprecedented queues were a direct result of shambolic management and government oversight of the DAA, and were compounded by opportunistic staff layoffs during the pandemic.
“While resolutions were eventually found to that chaos, passengers during the cold snap in recent weeks were left dismayed to see a return of mass flight cancellations and lengthy delays.
“Flights in and out of the airport were cancelled or delayed, and travel plans thrown into chaos. Some were booked onto later flights, many had to make alternative arrangements, and others had to book expensive accommodation that they had not budgeted for.
“This cannot happen again, particularly at Christmas, which for so many Irish now living overseas, will be the first time they will have the opportunity to return home for the festive period since before the pandemic.
“Approximately 1 million people will pass through the airport during the holiday period and I put it to DAA MD Vincent t Harrison today that it is imperative that Dublin Airport has the necessary contingency and staffing provisions in place in the event of another cold snap.
“Mr Harrison today offered assurances to me that the airport has made all necessary preparations for such an eventuality. But after letting down its passengers this year, the DAA has very little credit in the bank of public opinion.
“The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, must therefore take responsibility for the oversight of Dublin Airport’s Christmas contingency plans, and do his job to ensure that Dublin Airport runs properly.”