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Leo Varadkar Advocates Removing Barriers for Direct Flights from Ireland to India

Dublin: Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has voiced his concerns over the planning authority’s policy, which restricts the number of passengers at Dublin Airport, warning that such limitations could hinder airlines’ plans to initiate direct flights to countries like India. These comments follow the nearing of Dublin Airport’s annual passenger capacity of 32 million as the airport’s operator, the Dublin Airport Authority, grapples with managing the surge in passenger numbers, with 25 million travellers recorded at major airports in the first nine months of 2023.

While speaking in South Korea, Varadkar emphasised that Dublin Airport serves as the nation’s gateway, and constraining passenger figures could lead to logistical challenges. The planning authority had imposed passenger caps as part of planning regulations when approving the construction of the airport’s second terminal.

Varadkar argued that it’s impractical to divert airlines considering direct flights from Ireland to other airports. Imposing such limitations could potentially deter airlines from choosing Dublin, leading them to opt for airports in other countries instead. The prime minister urged the planning authority to revisit the regulatory framework, recognising that airlines will make route decisions based on their own preferences.

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