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Old January 20th, 2005, 12:13 PM   #681
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Business Times - 20 Jan 2005

Find niche areas, Asian budget carriers told

MasterCard study tells them to focus on China, India and shopper travellers

By ALEXANDRA HO

(SINGAPORE) Asian low-cost carriers (LCC) have to focus on niche areas in order to overcome constraints such as a lack of open skies agreement in the region, according to a study by MasterCard International.

The study reckoned that Asia Pacific's airline industry has the highest growth potential in the world, with predicted growth rates of 6.4 per cent a year, compared to the world average of 4.8 per cent.

But MasterCard's economic adviser Yuwa Hedrick-Wong said LCCs will find it tough to emulate the growth models of their Western counterparts, given the Asia Pacific's structure of bilateral air service agreements between governments. 'The present emergence of LCCs in the region is occurring within and limited by the context of point-to-point operations permitted by the existing bilateral agreement,' Dr Hedrick-Wong observed in the study.

Without the unfettered access to key cities that Western LCCs enjoy, Dr Hedrick-Wong suggested that Asian LCCs look to China, and to a lesser extent, India, as growth markets.

That is because about 70 per cent of China's estimated 780 routes are suitable for LCCs to operate.

On top of that, he said there is the sheer size of the market there - a huge number of potential travellers that is still untapped. The potential demand of the Chinese population to travel is present but the supply is just not there. But, this, he explained, is more out of structural problems, such as a lack of basic infrastructure like airports and tough domestic regulations.

If these factors are resolved, MasterCard's study said that LCCs could contribute up to 25 per cent of traffic volume growth in China by 2013. That is against the backdrop of predictions that the China domestic market will grow at over 8 per cent a year, accounting for more than 24 per cent of total Asia Pacific share by then.

The study also suggested that LCCs could tap into an emerging trend it called an 'Asian phenomenon' - shopper travellers.

This referred to people who are willing to hop on a flight to go to certain cities with the sole intention of shopping. For instance, Dr Hedrick-Wong said Japanese tourists would go to Korea for a weekend, or Singaporeans to Bangkok, just to shop.

'We are estimating that by 2011, shopper travellers' spending, not counting air tickets, but just shopping, is likely to be US$11 billion a year for four cities - Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok, if LCCs can operate in those sectors.'

Dr Hedrick-Wong conceded that it might not be easy for LCCs to operate those routes but they present a potential for the budget carriers.

But he remains upbeat on the future of air travel in Asia Pacific. 'With or without open skies, the future of the airline industry in Asia Pacific is one of increasing competition, more dynamic changes, and more refined market segmentation and customer management.

'Unlike their European and US counterparts, the industry in Asia Pacific will see massive growth in traffic volume, thus increasing both the scope and scale of the market, creating better potential for the growth of a healthy and competitive industry,' he said.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 20th, 2005, 03:10 PM   #682
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Quote:
Hmm.....CAAS really dislikes anything remotely related to Fernanduez is it? It a miracle Thai AirAsia manages to fly to Singapore at all!
Maybe Fernandez's ex-girlfriend is working in CAAS..

btw dude, i cant find the tigercup thread on sg forums, can you give me the link?

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Old January 20th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #683
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
Maybe Fernandez's ex-girlfriend is working in CAAS..

btw dude, i cant find the tigercup thread on sg forums, can you give me the link?

cheers
Your dude is serving the country........so here's the link.......

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=170175
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Old January 20th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #684
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Hahaha...thanks!

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Old January 21st, 2005, 06:04 AM   #685
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-80
Maybe Fernandez's ex-girlfriend is working in CAAS..

btw dude, i cant find the tigercup thread on sg forums, can you give me the link?

cheers
Tiger Cup in this thread?

Anyway, I might have access to CAAS's private stuff due to a research work I am about to embark on....so we shall see...heheeh
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Old January 21st, 2005, 06:35 AM   #686
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Jan 21, 2005
Tiger Airways offers $10 ticket to Phuket
Low-cost carrier slashes fares to lure visitors to tsunami-hit island

By Karamjit Kaur
Transport Correspondent

BUDGET airline Tiger Airways has slashed its fare to Phuket by almost 80 per cent to entice travellers back to the tsunami-hit resort island.

From a one-way starting fare of $45.98, the Singapore Airlines-backed carrier is offering 20,000 seats at $9.98 each.

Bookings start today and close on Feb 6, said the airline in a statement yesterday.

Special room rates at participating hotels are also available online at www. tigerairways.com

Regional carrier SilkAir is also working with travel agents, hotels and tourism authorities to bring tourists back to Phuket, Krabi and Langkawi.

And travel agents say the response to its packages, which became available yesterday, has been good.

SA Tours' assistant general manager for business development, Ms Alicia Seah, told The Straits Times yesterday: 'We received about 50 calls in the morning alone for the promotions being offered to the three destinations and some have confirmed their bookings.'

One of SilkAir's deals is a $99 package for one person to stay three days in Phuket. This covers air fare, accommodation, breakfast and land transfers.

It has similar packages costing $128 for a four-day stay in Krabi or a three-day one in Langkawi. Travellers are put up in a three-star hotels. They can ask for an upgrade and pay the balance.

The rates exclude airport and other taxes, and they must travel before Feb 28.

Chan Brothers' spokesman claimed: 'Never before have there been such deals. Prices are at least 60 to 70 per cent less than what they were a year ago.'

Since the disaster hit on Dec 26, Thai tourism authorities have been working with different companies to bring back the tourist dollar.

It is obviously in the airlines' interests to pitch in.

Since the tsunami hit, Tiger Airways has managed to fill only 25 per cent of the seats on its flights to Phuket, said its chief executive officer, Mr Tony Davis.

Before that, up to 80 per cent of its seats were booked.

SilkAir, too, is having problems filling its flights to the Thai island, even though it recently cut their numbers from three flights a day to two a day. It has also halved the number of services to Krabi from four, to two a week.

SA Tours' Ms Seah expects more airlines to offer similar promotions with Chinese New Year looming. It falls on Feb 9 and 10.

She said: 'Such promotions will definitely help boost tourism, which is good for everyone in the industry. The disaster has created quite a bit of fear among travellers.'

She revealed that her tour agency is working with hotels and tourism authorities in Thailand on promotional packages for travellers, and said: 'We'll announce the details of our promotion soon.'

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 21st, 2005, 07:24 AM   #687
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$10? Not interested. Even in the pre-Tsunami days, I wont be interested either!
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Old January 21st, 2005, 07:45 AM   #688
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Dude! I'll go to Phuket for $10 (Pre-tsunami days, of course).

Btw, does anybody know whether businesses are open as usual in Phuket? That's the most important thing before tourists can start streaming in.
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 01:18 PM   #689
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What happens with Jetstar asia? I thought they will announce their new routes in january? any idea why no announcement yet?

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Old January 24th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #690
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Jan 24, 2005
Malaysian tycoon discussing stake in Valuair

KUALA LUMPUR - A Malaysian tycoon's airport management company is in talks with Singapore's Valuair over acquiring a stake in the budget airline, a news report said on Monday.

Malaysia's Senai Airport Terminal Services (Sats) has agreed to sign a preliminary non-binding agreement to explore the possibility of Sats providing fresh financing in return for equity in Valuair, the Malay Mail reported, citing unidentified sources.

Valuair is seeking as much as US$25 million(S$40.8 million) in fresh capital for expansion, which should help the carrier meet a self-imposed deadline to list on the Singapore Stock Exchange by 2006, the daily said.

Sats - controlled by one of Malaysia's top businessman, Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary - operates the Senai Airport in Johor.

Sats officials weren't immediately available for comment.

Valuair currently operates flights to Bangkok, Hong Kong, the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, and Perth in Western Australia.

It was the first of three budget carriers to begin operations from Singapore last year. The others are Singapore Airlines-backed Tiger Airways and Jetstar Asia, which is majority-owned by Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd.

In December, Malaysia's Star Cruises acquired a 20 per cent stake in Valuair, making it the airline's largest shareholder.

The strategic alliance with the world's third-largest cruise operator is part of Valuair's continuing second round of financing aimed at helping the airliner eventually buy wide-body airplanes so that it can fly to more distant destinations.

Valuair raised about US$22.3 million in the first phase of financing before it started up around May 2004.

At the time, Valuair Chairman Lim Chin Beng, a former top executive at Singapore Airlines, said the airline was in talks with two other parties for capital-injection needs.

Online travel-booking company Asiatravel.com Holdings Ltd, which has pumped US$4 million so far into Valuair, currently owns 10.8 per cent of the airline. -- AP

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 08:06 PM   #691
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easyJet to expand in Switzerland
24 January 2005
Airline Industry Information

British low-cost carrier easyJet has entered into a long-term deal to establish a new base in Basel, Switzerland, and will station three additional aircraft at the airport.

easyJet, which currently flies from Basel's EuroAirport to Britain and Germany, will recruit flight crews locally and add more aircraft and routes from Basel.

The airline is reportedly to expand its Basel network to more than 10 destinations during the summer and is negotiating a number of new routes.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 11:39 PM   #692
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24 January 2005

Jakarta-based AWAIR may cancel plans to fly to Singapore
By Connie Tan, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Indonesian budget carrier AWAIR is warning that it may abandon its plans for flights between Jakarta and Singapore, if it does not get approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore soon.

AWAIR - the Indonesian arm of AirAsia - had to cancel its inaugural flight to Singapore last week because it did not get the go-ahead in time.

So far, some 1,800 travellers have been affected by the delay.

And the airline says it is ready to look at alternative routes.

AirAsia's CEO Tony Fernandas said: "We're a business. We came here because we were promised a lot but we just can't carry on waiting indefinitely for the approval. We have to move and we're getting impatient now. We will be deciding over the next few days and we have already started the process of applying for flights between Jakarta and KL."

The CAAS is still processing AWAIR's application. It is not clear when a decision will be reached. - CNA

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old January 25th, 2005, 08:20 AM   #693
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Hehehe.....I am still wondering whos fault it really is now....Fernandas or CAAS!
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Hehehe.....I am still wondering whos fault it really is now....Fernandas or CAAS!
Haha.....maybe it's becos Tiger is going to fly that route soon......
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Old January 25th, 2005, 12:24 PM   #695
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Business Times - 25 Jan 2005

LCCs and China, India growth to boost aviation sector this year

(SINGAPORE) After a high-flying 2004, the Asia-Pacific aviation sector will continue to soar this year, thanks to low-cost carriers (LCCs) and booming growth from markets such as China and India, according to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa).

Sydney-based Capa expects air traffic in the region to grow more than 6 per cent a year for the next two decades.

In its Outlook 2005 report, released at yesterday's Asia Pacific & Middle East Aviation and Tourism Outlook 2005 conference, Capa said Singapore is especially well-placed to benefit from liberalisation in India, China and Asean, greater aviation infrastructure development and growth in LCC and transcontinental non-stop services.

Singapore has a head start as an LCC base over rivals Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, given a receptive operating environment and Changi's commitment to providing dedicated facilities, Capa's report says.

'This, together with robust growth in import-export trade, will characterise Singapore's development as an aviation centre in the next 12 months.'

Capa managing director Peter Harbison said Asia-Pacific operators enjoyed their strongest profit growth in more than three years in 2004, and the good times will keep rolling in 2005.

'Last year, when US carriers suffered losses of US$6 billion and European operators lost US$500 million, Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern airlines enjoyed a combined profit of some US$3 billion,' he said.

'The irreversible processes and changes that have taken place in the past year will accelerate further progress and growth in the regional airline industry.'

Capa sees strong growth stimulating huge fleet expansion programmes by Asia-Pacific carriers in the next few years.

It projects 916 aircraft deliveries between 2005 and 2009, with a huge increase in demand for narrow-body aircraft for regional LCCs. China, India and the Middle East are seen as the biggest markets for new aircraft.

The only impediment to growth could be a shortage of skilled staff. Capa projects that Asia-Pacific airline operators will need about 95,000 employees in the next five years, including about 19,000 this year alone.

'Airline employment in the region has been stable, but the resumption of growth will see a huge build-up in demand for staff for all airlines,' said Capa's senior consultant for industry affairs Ian Thomas. 'This could slow growth, raise operating costs, delay fleet expansion and even pose a threat to safety.'

Still, Capa reckons the number of regional airline start-ups will double this year to about 20, accompanied by a huge increase in airport infrastructure spending.

It also believes 2005 could mark a turning point in the role of global alliances in the region.

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babystan03
Haha.....maybe it's becos Tiger is going to fly that route soon......
Is that so? I missed the news I think. I am getting VERY dissapointed with their expansion plans to say the least!
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Old January 25th, 2005, 11:40 PM   #697
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Originally Posted by huaiwei
Is that so? I missed the news I think. I am getting VERY dissapointed with their expansion plans to say the least!
No news on it yet.......I was guessing from the previous new article which the CEO of tiger says the airline will annouce new routes soon.......
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #698
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AirAsia may give up expansion into Singapore



HAVING undergone a tough time to launch its latest flight from Jakarta to Singapore, AirAsia Bhd chief executive officer Tony Fernandes says he has had enough of Singapore’s tactics and the airline may give up completely its interest to expand there.

The Singapore government is currently deciding whether to allow AWAIR, an AirAsia 49% associate, to operate flights from Jakarta after halting its maiden flight at the eleventh hour recently for allegedly not having a full documentation.

Addressing an audience comprising bankers and senior officials from regional financial institutions at the 5th Malaysia Capital Market Conference 2005 in Kuala Lumpur, Fernandes did not mince his words about the treatment he had received from the Singapore government.

He said the latest incident reflected how the Singapore government had tried to block the entry of low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as AirAsia from competing directly with the republic’s homegrown LCC and its national airlines Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Silk Air. There are currently three LCCs based in Singapore - SIA-owned Tiger Airways, Qantas-owned Jetstar Asia and privately-owned Valuair.









Tony Fernandes







“First they barred our bus from entering Singapore, now they have barred us from taking our planes there despite their earlier approvals,” he said.

He said his experience showed that Singapore was not as open to business as they had portrayed itself to be.

“From our experience, they are very closed and we want to tell the whole world about it,” said Fernandes, who left the conference audience in stitches with his straightforward presentation style.

He said the decision to stop AWAIR flight had upset the Indonesian authorities and disrupted the travel plans of passengers who had made their travel bookings earlier.

Fernandes said he was prepared to face the consequences for being vocal about the treatment he received from the Singaporean government.

“After this, we may cancel our intention to fly to Singapore from Jakarta,” he said, adding that AirAsia could grow well without having to operate from the island.

Fernandes also said AirAsia was on track to achieve its forecast profit of RM172.8mil for its financial year ending June 2005.

“Our second quarter result had been encouraging, and we are confident of achieving our target,” he said, but declined to elaborate.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 02:28 PM   #699
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Business Times - 26 Jan 2005

AVIATION CONFERENCE
Asian full-service airlines more able to fight low-cost rivals: SIA chief

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Asian full-service legacy carriers are more nimble and ready than their American and European counterparts to meet the competition head-on from low cost upstarts, said Singapore Airlines (SIA) chief executive Chew Choon Seng.

'It took Delta more than a decade to come up with revolutionary fares (in the face of low cost competition),' Mr Chew said. 'We won't be so moribund in our response and will move quickly to compete at the margins.'

Speaking at the Asia Pacific & Middle East Aviation and Tourism Outlook 2005 conference yesterday, Mr Chew said that any airline can call itself a low fare airline.

'But whether or not you can maintain costs low enough to sustain low fares is an open question.'

He added that it was a misnomer to equate all Asian low-cost carrier (LCC) players with their US and European counterparts as they did not enjoy the same access to secondary airports nor have the ability to operate in whatever sectors they wanted.

He also cast doubts on the survivability of some of the start-ups.

'If the evidence is anything to go by, I would hazard a guess that only a handful of them are making any profit, after taking into account deferred costs,' he said. 'At the end of the day, consumers will decide who survives.'

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that the arrival of the LCC phenomenon has revolutionised air travel in the region and whetted the appetite for regional air travel.

The low-cost airline phenomenon has been sweeping across the Asia-Pacific region in the last two years, with over a dozen players starting up in South-east Asia, India and China. SIA itself is into the game with its 49 per cent-owned Tiger Airways.

But that has not stopped SIA or its cohorts like Thai and Cathay Pacific from offering equally low fares - albeit on limited flights - to destinations served by the LCCs, thus raising howls of protest of 'predatory pricing' from the low-cost start-ups.

In his speech, Mr Chew also noted that while liberalisation was occurring gradually, full competition in the global aviation industry was at least three years away.

'Aviation is too important to be strangled by outdated regulation,' he said. 'Protecting vested interest will create a heavy cost to be borne by consumers and taxpayers.'

Turning to the Australia-US trans-Pacific route, which SIA is keen to participate in, Mr Chew said that this route was 'demonstrably underserved'.

'We are aware that it is very difficult to get seats on the sector at certain times of the year and the fares on this route are very rich compared to the comparable kangaroo route.'

He said opening the route to competition would bring more price competition and service options for travellers.

Singapore's Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong and his Australian counterpart John Anderson will hold another round of discussions on open skies, including SIA's access to the trans-Pacific route, next month. India's aviation sector to take off in big way, Pg 16

Copyright © 2004 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #700
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Ryanair unveils more Dublin routes in challenge to Ireland's state Aer Lingus
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
26 January 2005

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - The budget airline Ryanair announced a half-dozen new routes Wednesday that link Dublin with other European cities in a renewed challenge to Ireland's state-owned Aer Lingus.

Ryanair said four new routes starting April 17 would connect the Irish capital to Rome; Eindhoven in Holland; and Biarritz and Carcassonne in southern France. It said Dublin routes to Sheffield, England, would open April 28 and to Frankfurt, Germany, on May 3.

Ryanair is headquartered in Dublin but has made Stansted Airport, near London, its biggest hub. Today the airline offers 186 routes to 91 destinations in 17 countries, but hadn't launched any significant expansions in Dublin since 1997.

Deputy Chief Executive Michael Cawley said the fares were much lower than those of Aer Lingus.

Ryanair Holdings PLC shares rose 1.75 percent Wednesday to euro5.85 (US$7.65).

Aer Lingus remains the biggest player in the Irish market. It faced possible bankruptcy in 2001 but has rebounded strongly, partly by emulating Ryanair's sales technique -- offering discounted fares over the Internet that play down the considerable extra cost of fees and taxes.

Aer Lingus has stronger service standards and offers more direct flights from Dublin to continental European destinations.

Ryanair does fly directly between Dublin and Brussels, Paris and several holiday spots in southern Spain and Portugal. Otherwise its Irish passengers trying to reach the Continent must endure lengthy stopovers in Stansted or other British airports, where the airline doesn't provide for luggage to be transferred.

Ryanair repeatedly complains it's being blocked from doing more in Dublin because the government of Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern protects Aer Lingus. The latest satirical Ryanair ad campaign in Irish newspapers portrays Ahern as Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

On Wednesday, Cawley accused Ahern of failing to deliver on 3-year-old government plans to develop a second terminal in Dublin that Ryanair would hope to dominate.

Cawley said the six new routes would produce 500 jobs at the airport and bring more than 250,000 extra tourists to Ireland. But he estimated that a new terminal would generate 10 times as much new employment and business, and urged the government to get on with it.

"These routes today are just a taste of what's possible if `decision' would replace `dithering' as the tourism policy of Bertie Ahern's government," he said.

The government last year broke up Aer Rianta, the state company that ran Ireland's three largest airports, into three competing companies.

Aer Rianta opposed Ryanair's proposals, which called for a second Dublin terminal to be built that would be reserved for low-budget rivals of Aer Lingus. The newly formed Dublin Airport Authority hasn't spelled out any expansion plans yet.
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