The economic uncertainty surrounding the Brexit vote could have a positive effect on business at Dublin Airport.
It has been trying to enhance its status as a European hub for transatlantic flights and handled a record 25 million passengers last year.
With Britain voting to leave the EU, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, believes airlines will now seek an alternative to Heathrow. “Anyone flying from the US or Asia in London will be looking into sending more traffic through the Frankfurt, Schiphol [Amsterdam] and Dublin hubs,” he said.
Mr Jacobs added that in spite of Ryanair’s huge affiliation with the UK, it was likely that the company would be looking at investing in other EU countries such as Ireland, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The UK accounts for more than 30 million of the 100-plus million passengers that Ryanair flies each year and it employs more than 4,000 people in Britain. And Mr Jacobs said it was vital that the UK remains in the Open Skies regime – a programme that allows European airlines to fly freely between EU member states – given its impact on the growth of low-cost carriers.
International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns Aer Lingus, warned that operating profits for 2016 were unlikely to grow at the same rate as last year. However, it added that it believes that the leave vote will have no long-term material impact on its business.