Dublin Airport Authority (daa) has announced plans to introduce new airport charges discount schemes at Dublin and Cork airports to help revive air travel in Ireland.

The schemes will offer generous discounts to carriers, encouraging them to resume services from mid-2021.

Cork Airport has also proposed a reasonable discount scheme to initiate a recovery in air traffic.

If certain passenger targets are met, the Dublin Airport scheme will provide free airport charges for airlines, said daa.

Daa chief executive Dalton Philips said: “Irish aviation has been decimated by the impact of Covid-19, and it is essential for the Irish economy that we rebuild lost connectivity as quickly as possible.

“Daa is stepping up and taking the lead to help rebuild this vital sector and we’ll work closely with our airline customers and other stakeholders to stimulate growth. Ireland is one of the most open economies in the world and has a huge dependency on trade, tourism, exports and foreign direct investment.

“The vast majority of Ireland’s economic activity needs air connectivity, and these discount schemes will help restore vital air routes.”

The schemes have been designed for airlines to commit capacity to Ireland, as market conditions recover, vaccines are rolled out and government guidelines are further relaxed next year.

The discount scheme will help in stimulating growth between 28 March 2021, which is the official start of aviation’s summer season, and 26 March 2022.

Compared to last year, passenger footfall at Dublin Airport has declined by 77%, and at Cork by 79% this year.