Skip to content

2020 Performance

The COVID-19 pandemic had an unprecedented impact on every aspect of our operations in 2020

Passengers at our Irish airports
Passengers at our Irish airports
0 m
22% of 2019 levels
0 m
Operating costs1
0 m
Parked Aer Lingus aircraftt at Dublin airport
Net debt
0 m
Download PDF 1 Operating costs include payroll and related costs, materials and services and other income – government support.


Airport staff member checking luggage

Dublin Airport designated as carbon neutral by the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

Parked Aer Lingus aircraft at Dublin Airport during COVID-19 pandemic

Cork Airport Highly Commended in the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards in the under 5 million passengers per year category.

Entrance of Design Ireland shop at Dublin Airport

ARI North America (ARINA) named America’s Travel Retailer of the Year and Airport Travel Retailer of the Year at the DFNI-Frontier Americas Awards.

Guy walking with his luggage at Dublin Airport

daa International wins contract to operate new airport at The Red Sea Development Project in Saudi Arabia.

Our business at a glance

Where we operate

Headquartered in Dublin we have operations in 16 countries. We have airport operations at Dublin and Cork airports in Ireland and Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and airport investments in Düsseldorf, Larnaca and Paphos airports.

ARI, daa’s travel retail subsidiary, has operations in 14 countries and holds the Group’s shareholding in Düsseldorf Airport and Hermes Airports. daa International offers advisory and management services internationally, leveraging the experience and expertise of daa Group.

daa International
Dublin Airport
Cork Airport
Download PDF

Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport is Ireland’s gateway. During 2020 it was a key player in Ireland’s global supply chain and was the main hub for the import of essential PPE and medical equipment.

Cork Airport

Cork Airport is Ireland’s second largest international airport. It was highly commended in the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards in the under 5 million passengers per year category. Cork Airport won this award in 2019.


ARI is the Group’s travel retail subsidiary with operations in 14 countries. It manages its own outlets in Dublin and Cork and holds the Group’s shareholding in Düsseldorf Airport and Hermes Airports.

daa International

daa International offers advisory, management and investment services to clients globally. The flagship contract is the management of Terminal 5 at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Chief Executive’s review

We will rebuild our Group together, both at home and abroad

It has been a very challenging year for the Group and for all of our employees. We had to act swiftly and take some very difficult decisions to protect the business.

Download PDF

Our immediate strategy, coupled with the necessary restructuring we have undertaken, will enable us to create a new daa and rebuild our business, both at home and abroad.”

Dalton Philips Chief Executive
Chief Executive Dalton Philips
Our strategy

The road to recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had had a profoundly negative impact on the aviation industry. We created a new ‘Road to Recovery’ strategy to protect our business and create the right foundations for us to rebound post-2020. These are our core areas of focus.

Download PDF
Strategic focus areas



Ensure we have sufficient cash and liquidity to support our operational requirements and recovery plans. Reduce our costs, limit losses and renegotiate commercial agreements.

Strategy in action
  • Existing credit facility was increased from €300 million to €450 million and its maturity extended until March 2026
  • Raised €500m in long-term debt from bond market
  • Renegotiated approximately 40% of international contracts
  • Reduced cost base by approximately €186m* by proactively implementing cost mitigation measures.
Operating costs* 2020: €260m 2019: €446m *Net of Government support
Strategic focus areas

Business operations


Understand and adapt our passenger journey across all our operations to reflect changes due to COVID-19 and reinstil customer confidence. Work closely with our airlines, commercial customers and international partners to retain business and support resumption of services as soon as practical.

Strategy in action
  • Implemented a fully compliant customer journey
  • Implemented passenger testing by independent operators at our Irish airports
  • Obtained ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation for both Irish Airports
  • Provided discounts on airport charges for aircraft parking, airbridge and cargo
Technology initiatives 2020: 245 2019: 242
Strategic focus areas



Maintain a safe and secure workplace for our staff. Agree new ways of working with our staff and unions to ensure our business is agile and can respond to changes in business demand. Take steps to ensure our business is appropriately sized and structured given our changed environment and downsizing of business.

Our strategy in action
  • Implemented staff testing across the campus for all staff on site
  • Agreed new ways of working with 93% of employees
  • Implemented various technology initiatives to assist with staff working remotely
  • Implemented a voluntary severance scheme in order to right-size our business
Staff FTE 2020: 3,205 2019: 4,139
Strategic focus areas



Progress with critical projects such as North Runway, Hold Baggage Screening and planning applications. Review timing of investment plan under revised passenger trajectory expectations and ensure programme is affordable.

Our strategy in action
  • Continued to progress critical projects
  • Submitted planning application to Fingal County Council for North Runway planning
  • Achieved Level3+ Carbon Neutrality for Dublin Airport under the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme
Energy consumption 2020: -21.9% 2019: -5.4%
Strategic focus areas



Work collaboratively with the wider airports industry on recovery plans and engage with National and European stakeholders to ensure we have the right supports for our business and industry.

Our strategy in action
  • Participated in the Aviation Recovery Taskforce and provided input to Report Recommendations
  • Attended various Oireachtas Special Committee sessions to explain the impact of the pandemic on our business and seek support for reopening aviation markets
  • Worked collaboratively with various stakeholders throughout the year

Rebuilding our Group together

Our plan for the next 12-18 months builds upon our tactical Road to Recovery plan to ensure our business recovers from the crisis and is well positioned to seize opportunities and restore value as rapidly as possible.


Stacked coins with uniqure Euro coin in front of the stack

Restore our finances

  • Protect our financial position
  • Restore the value of our business

Business operations

Three arrows on top of each other going to right upper side

Return our business to growth

  • Adapt to passengers’ changing needs and expectations
  • Attract customers back to our businesses
  • Add value through new opportunities


Three people with one standing in front of the other two

Re-inspire our people

  • Embed new structures and ways of working together
  • Create a climate that recognises people and performance
  • Engage and empower our people


Worker digging

Refocus on our development plans

  • Deliver critical projects
  • Unlock capacity through planning
  • Raise our sustainability ambition


Simple handshake

Renew and strengthen our relationships

  • Seek out beneficial partnerships
  • Be recognised as an authentic voice

Our values

Our values are the guiding principles for the way we behave and work together each day to deliver on our strategy.

Respect each other’s value

We respect each other’s value by finding out about each other’s roles, being considerate, listening and asking questions.

By collaborating as one team we build confidence in each other.

Brilliant at the essentials

Being brilliant at the essentials involves being an expert in whatever role our employees occupy.

Being guided by the processes in place, being thorough and providing exceptional performances and recognising everyday brilliance – and above all, thinking as a customer.

Passing the baton, not the buck

We pass the baton and not the buck by trusting and supporting each other.

By encouraging others to take responsibility and finding ways to share problems and by thinking ‘how can we help?’.

Always better

We can always do better by listening to ideas, being open about making decisions and by valuing incremental improvements.

This has been an unprecedented time for all and the biggest crisis to ever face our industry. We have come together to take the necessary steps to safeguard our business and have worked collaboratively with industry stakeholders with a common objective to protect the aviation industry and aim to get air travel back to 2019 levels as soon as practical.