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Inaugural flight lands at Dublin’s Terminal 2

Appropriately, the first flight to land at Dublin Airport’s new Terminal 2 was an Aer Lingus flight. Love it or hate it, the new terminal is now open for business. The following is the article written by Tim O’Brien  that appeared in the Irish Times on Saturday, November 20, 2010, to mark this momentous occasion.

Dublin Airport Terminal 2

AER LINGUS flight EI205 landed at Dublin airport with perfect timing yesterday.

The inaugural flight to Terminal 2 (T2) arrived from Manchester as Taoiseach Brian Cowen finished his opening speech.

Shown live on a large bank of screens, the aircraft was seen outside within seconds of the Taoiseach describing the new terminal as a sign of hope for Ireland’s economic recovery and “a gateway to the future we all want for Ireland”.

As he wrapped up his speech, Mr Cowen said: “I want to say formally on this day, a day which sets out a future for this airport, that similarly we will set out a future for our country, to build on the work that we have done so that by the end of next year, we will be two-thirds of the way through the work that we have to do.”

After a brief walk through of the new terminal, the Taoiseach departed from a prepared speech to return to what he said was “justifiable concern” about the future of the country and its economy.

Blaming “abnormal market conditions”, he wanted to make it clear the Government was “sitting down with its partners to find a way forward that will deal with euro-area problems, as well as the specific problems affecting Ireland today”.

Mr Cowen said: “We have and we will engage in constructive discussions so that Ireland will take the decisions, so that the Irish Government will put forward a four-year plan on behalf of the Irish people. Because it will be the Irish people, through our efforts in the coming months and years, who will see us through.”

The need to adapt in the years ahead would, he said, involve “taking some steps back in order that we can forge forward again”. It was not “about losing all of the gains that we have made. This building, what this represents, does remain.”

Mr Cowen said Ireland would see revenues rise to 2005/2006 levels and “we will see our spending revert back to 2007 levels. That is how we will over the next few years ensure that we bring balance to our public finances.”

The four-year plan would be a responsibility for whatever government was in power, he added, “whatever about the ups and downs of electoral politics”.

The Government would put its proposals for the coming four years to the people. “We will make sure that we see through the next days and weeks in a competent and proper way, making the appropriate decisions in the best interests of our people.”

Before the Taoiseach spoke, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, dressed as an undertaker and carrying a wreath, had displayed a hearse containing a coffin painted in the national colours in the airport campus. The costs of the terminal, he said, would be the death knell of Irish tourism.

Dublin Airport Authority chairman David Dilger defended the new terminal against allegations that it was over-specified and unnecessarily large. Its capacity was required to underpin future growth, he said.

On airport charges, Mr Dilger said the authority was a commercial organisation and had “no intention of providing our infrastructure for nothing”. It was dedicated to providing “excellent value for money to all of our passengers and all of our airline customers”.

The Aer Lingus inaugural flight was an Airbus A320, with 118 passengers. Aer Lingus will move its North American services to T2 in the New Year.

Other services to the US are also expected to be based at T2 from early in the new year. Etihad will base its Abu Dhabi service at T2 from Tuesday.

T2 TEARJERKER: RYANAIR CHIEF RAILS AGAINST ‘€1.2BN PALACE’

THERE WAS a large media presence, national and international, deployed to meet Taoiseach Brian Cowen at Dublin airport yesterday – an opportunity Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary was not going to miss.

With Cowen due to arrive at 11am, O’Leary ordered a hearse and coffin painted in the national colours, which arrived at Dublin airport at least two hours in advance.

The Ryanair boss, dressed as an undertaker, posed alongside a sign proclaiming ” Irish Tourism RIP”.

Was the coffin’s use of the national colours not showing disrespect, he was asked. O’Leary replied: “It is Irish tourism that is going to be buried today as a Government-owned bunch of bureaucrats open a €1.2 billion palace that Irish tourism doesn’t need and can’t afford. Remember jobs are being lost in Irish tourism, this year, this month, next month

because the DAA are cranking up the fees by 40 per cent when inflation is zero.”

O’Leary then headed to Terminal 2 where he posed on the escalators with the wreath, looking glum. Giving interviews, he caused a stir well in advance of the arrival of Mr Cowen.

One interview that went less well than expected was with a British TV broadcaster which concluded with the interviewer politely asking O’Leary for his name and position.

Ryanair will not be moving to the new terminal.

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If you have flown into the brand new Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport, leave a comment below to let us know your impressions. What’s good? Anything stand out especially? Is there anything that’s not there that you’d like to see?

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Posted in Uncategorized 6 years, 8 months ago at 9:08 pm.

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