Ryanair responds to scrapping of Irish air travel tax

Ryanair plane
Image caption The company is discussing plans to add new routes or additional frequencies on existing routes

Ryanair has said it aims to increase its traffic at Irish airports by one million passengers a year after the Irish government scrapped an air tax.

The airline said its move was in "direct response" to the scrapping of the travel tax, announced in the Irish budget on Tuesday.

The Irish air travel tax is three euros (£2.50) per passenger, per flight, but will be abolished from April 2014.

Ryanair said the abolition helped to "restore Ireland's competitiveness".

The tax was introduced at Irish airports almost five years ago.

The airline said that that during that period, "traffic at the main Irish airports had declined from 30.5m passengers in 2008 to 23.5m in 2012".

The period also coincided with the international economic downturn, with the Republic of Ireland suffering one of the deepest recessions in the eurozone.

In a statement, Ryanair said it believes that much of the Republic's lost airport traffic "can now be recovered thanks to the abolition of the travel tax, which makes Ireland a more competitive and attractive destination for inbound visitors, particularly those on short flights from the UK and Continental Europe".

The airline has invited staff from airports in Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerr to meetings in the Irish capital on Thursday and Friday to discuss its growth plans.

Michael Cawley from Ryanair said they would discuss "how and where we can add new routes or additional frequencies on existing routes" from next April, in an attempt to achieve their targets.

More on this story