Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 (T2) was opened yesterday, by Prime Minister Brian Cowen, on the day that the IMF / EU talks on the Irish financial crisis begin.
It was hoped that trial flights from T2 would begin in October, of this year. It now seems that flights will not be worked through the terminal until November 23 and transatlantic flights will have to wait until next year.
Initially the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) had said that transatlantic services operated by Aer Lingus, Delta, Continental Airlines and US Airways would operate from T2 on December 7th. However, now the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authority have indicated that it will not be ready to transfer their operation to the new terminal until next year.
Currently the only airline using T2 is Aer Lingus. They will be joined on November 23 by Etihad Airways. However, Aer Lingus has advised all passengers “to report to Terminal 1 for check in as normal until further notice."
The airline said that it would be testing procedures and moving slowly over. They said they were moving with caution “to ensure a smooth transition of its operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 in January, avoiding the Christmas holiday period when the airport is traditionally very busy."
In July, Declan Collier, the DAA chief executive has said that trial flights would take place in October. He said that T2 would “transform the passenger experience at Dublin airport, offering customers a modern user-friendly facility that will provide a platform for a more rapid return to growth."
Already the new terminal is drawn negative remarks from international commentators.
The Telegraph, a British newspaper, described it as “the Irish economy in microcosm." T2 has now cost, at least, three times its original budget and has caused considerable debt for the DAA.
The biggest reproached is aimed at the very fact that the terminal was built when air traffic is steadily collapsing and airlines are cutting flights. Head of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary called it “yet another huge joke at the Irish taxpayers expense”.