There could be long queues at Dublin Airport this holiday season as experts warn of a potential ‘Flightmare before Christmas.’
Yesterday, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that he is “very concerned” that the airport will not have enough staff this Christmas.
After restrictions were lifted there was a surge in demand for international travel and the airport twice found itself short staffed - leading to huge queues and many travellers missing their flights.
Air & Travel Editor Eoghan Corry told Newstalk Breakfast that “everybody is very worried” about the potential for further disruption over Christmas.
“We come from the quietest time of the year… to this massive rush over two weeks and back to very low levels again,” he said.
“Everybody remembers the last Saturday in March and the last Sunday in May and the fear is this might happen again.”
Since the spring, Dublin Airport has put a lot of time and effort into recruitment and Mr Corry said they are now “in a much better position” than in previous months.
Mr Corry said that the airport is used to managing seasonal surges but still expects people will be asked to arrive a little earlier than usual.
“I do expect some sort of advisory to appear a little bit earlier at the airport,” he said.
“It’s a little bit stressful and another thing that’s happened is people have paid a lot more for their flights this Christmas, [there’s] not enough supply for the huge peak in demand that happens at that time of the year.”
In a statement to Newstalk, DAA said, “There are no plans to change travel advice ahead of the Christmas period.”
In 2021, 850,000 people travelled through Dublin Airport over Christmas time - a significant drop on the 1.5 million passengers who used the airport in 2019.
Main image: People at Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 arrivals during the Christmas holiday season. Picture by: David Ribeiro / Alamy Stock Photo