Dublin and Cork airports are set to provide discounts to airlines to help kickstart air travel to and from Ireland next summer.

The Daa said the schemes aim to encourage airlines to resume services that have been curtailed or dropped entirely due to Covid-19.

Dublin Airport's proposal has been communicated to airlines today, while Cork Airport's scheme will be shared with airlines shortly.

Free airport charges for airlines

The Dublin Airport scheme features free airport charges for airlines if certain passenger targets are met.

In a statement the Daa said the discounts will be triggered by the performance of each individual airline and are not dependent on overall traffic growth at Dublin Airport during the 12-month period.

In any three-month period during the scheme if an airline carries more than 50% of the number of passengers it had at Dublin Airport during the same quarter in 2019/2020, then the Daa said the airport charges for those extra passengers will be reduced by half.

If an airline has more than 70% of the passengers it had at Dublin the previous year, then all passengers above that level are free for the airline in question.

If Dublin Airport's airline customers from 2019 carried 80% of their passenger total from last year in 2021/22, Dublin Airport will be rebating €50 million worth of airport charges.

"We recognise that airlines are making decisions now about where to place their aircraft for next summer, and that many of our customers have smaller fleets than they had last year," said Daa Chief Executive Dalton Philips

"Dublin Airport was already a hugely attractive location from a cost perspective – as its charges were reduced by 40% between 2016 and 2020.

"However, despite being the lowest cost airport in our peer group, we recognise that there are hugely challenging market conditions for our customers, and we want to help them return to growth," he said.

Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are down by 77% compared to last year, while traffic at Cork is down 79%.

So far this year, Dublin Airport has lost 24.4 million passengers due to the impact of Covid-19, while Cork Airport has lost almost 2 million passengers.