Feature Article
Jan Gehl Confirmed for Annual Dinner - Just 200 Tickets Left!

Joining the line-up for our Annual Dinner is Danish architect, professor and global leader in people- centred urban design, Jan Gehl.


Gehl's book Public Spaces, Public Life, discusses how improvements to urban spaces have transformed Copenhagen from a car-dominated city to a pedestrian-oriented city in 40 years. Copenhagen's Strøget carfree zone, one of the longest pedestrian areas in Europe, is primarily the result of Gehl's work.


Taking place in The CCD on Thursday October 11th, tickets are priced at €205 and a table of 12 can be purchased for €2460. For further information, contact carol@dublinchamber.ie.


60+ Firms Join Chamber's Cycling Campaign

More than 60 companies have so far joined Dublin Chamber's call for increased Government spending on segregated cycle lanes and better bike facilities in Dublin. The move is part of a new partnership between the Chamber and the CyclingWorks Dublin campaign, which aims to encourage the business community to pressure the Government to significantly increase the amount of money it is spending on safe cycling infrastructure in Dublin.


A full list of the companies that have signed up so far is available here. Would your company like to join the campaign. If so, drop an email to graeme@dublinchamber.ie.


Dublin Chamber's Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen explains more about why the Chamber is making this call in this opinion article on Fora.ie.

Airlines Need to Digitise and Reassess Competitive Positions

Digitisation is top-of-mind throughout the commercial airline industry, but moving beyond buzzwords like AI and IoT to actual applications can be difficult.


"Airline leaders are very aware that they need new and more resilient strategies.  Two essential drivers of these strategies are the use of digital technologies and the development of sharper, more nuanced competitive positioning."  Rachel Frye, PwC Aviation Finance Advisory Leader discusses the challenges facing Europe's airline market.

The Time for Airlines to Digitise and Reassess their Competitive Positions has Come


Airlines may have enjoyed a run of good results, buoyed by steadily rising demand and an extended drop in fuel costs.  Global industry-wide passenger traffic grew by 8.8% percent in 2017 and in Ireland this was 6%.  Despite the increased pressure on margins from rising fuel and labour costs, IATA still expects the world's airlines will generate a return on invested capital (ROIC) of 8.5% this year. In its recently published mid-year review of the economic performance of the airline industry the association says this will be the fourth consecutive year in which it has adequately rewarded its equity owners.


But Europe’s already cut throat airline market has just got tougher.  Some commentators are saying oil prices will rise to US$90 a barrel by next summer, we could see more airlines heading for collapse. And the entry of Level into the short-haul market will further intensify competition.  Will we see more consolidation in the market?


Several trends suggest there could be clouds ahead.  Oil prices are increasing; and given geopolitical uncertainties including rising protectionism and potential aggressive trade-wars, recent growth trends may all change, making it harder to maintain recent high levels of profit per passenger.  A sense of urgency is required now; figuring out how best to exploit the financial headroom attained should be a top priority for airline industry leaders.  Heightened competition from new entrants, pressure on ticket prices and more demanding passengers are challenges.  Airline leaders are very aware that they need new and more resilient strategies.  Two essential drivers of these strategies are the use of digital technologies and the development of sharper, more nuanced competitive positioning.


The digitisation dilemma

Digitisation is top-of-mind throughout the commercial airline industry, but moving beyond buzzwords like AI and IoT to actual applications can be difficult.  Think in business terms about what digital technologies enable; what opportunities they offer to grow the top line and reduce operation costs simultaneously.


Airlines, airports and direct-to-consumer distributors – travel and lodging providers such as TripAdvisor, Google and Airbnb – are all vying for pieces of business or recreational passenger budgets.  The technology companies have an advantage in this battle: consumers like the convenience of one-stop shopping on seamless digital platforms.


To capture top-line growth in this competitive environment, airlines need to incorporate the best of what these so-called channel consolidators do and offer innovative holistic and attractive travel distribution programs.  They need to ensure that their direct distribution channels (primarily websites and phone banks) and loyalty programs can deliver personalised service and offers to business and leisure customers.  Simply put, airlines must combat ticket commoditisation by developing, alone or in partnership with global distribution systems, enhanced merchandising applications that will allow them to cross-sell and upsell using their privileged access to millions of global travellers.


Carriers cannot afford to focus solely on ticket sales, leaving other companies to pick up the ancillary revenue – including accommodation, rental cars, entertainment and personalised itineraries – that surrounds the flight. Airlines will need to build extensive digital marketing capabilities, integrating the reams of customer data they collect into a complete view of the traveller, transforming the insights yielded by this data into compelling offers (i.e. we know where you and the kids have stayed at Euro Disney, would you like a discounted hotel room next year?) and constructing an interface and apps that make them stand out in a crowded market.  Airlines have much more to do in fully embedding the opportunities that automation and artificial intelligence present.


At the same time, airlines need to use digitisation to enhance and optimise operations – to reduce costs while improving service.  They need to put technology to work in predicting and preventing equipment failures, in optimising processes and productivity on the ground and in providing better and timelier information to employees.


Airline leaders also need to keep in mind that digitisation is also a tool for tactical innovation.  Your business strategy – the company’s short and long term goals – will point the way to the customers you want to win, the offerings you hope to provide that attract these customers and the right channels for reaching them.  When those objectives are known, you can identify the technologies that best support them.


Creative competitive positioning

The once clear-cut competitive landscape in the commercial airline industry continues to evolve. Low-cost carriers (LLCs) are still gaining market share from full-service carriers (FSCs) but the differences between the models are shrinking and we will see hybrid approaches gaining traction, while some carriers will operate separate but clearly segmented airlines under a single corporate umbrella.  Globally we are also seeing low-cost carriers upscaling their offering.


This competitive positioning is driven by the varied needs of the market’s consumer, the market’s maturity, the level of market consolidation and the ability of an airline to satisfy expectations within a market better than its competitors. Making an assessment of the market is a complex undertaking that will produce wildly different results by region. In Europe, for example, the competitive field remains fragmented; major European airlines are facing stiff competition from local low-cost carriers and more recently some Middle East airlines are increasing their activities in Europe.  As a result, European airlines are shedding volume on Europe-Asia routes while yields on intra-Europe flights are shrinking.  In the US, a wave of consolidation has yielded fewer and larger airlines that seems to be enforcing more discipline on fare levels and capacity expansion.


As an airline leader, once you have chosen the most potentially lucrative competitive position by market, you must consider how to best construct the business that will inhabit it.  Does your airline have the elements – that is, network, fleet, operating model, a reasonable cost-to-serve structure, digital capabilities and the right partners – needed to thrive in the your future business environment? If not, how will those elements be obtained – through organise growth, consolidation, M&A or joint ventures?

The need to address competitive positioning is made more serious by the fact that no market is safe from competitive threat.  Massive investments in infrastructure in the Middle East will ensure that the region continues to develop as a travel hub.  Although China’s airlines are still focused on domestic demand, inevitably they will turn their attention outward – bringing huge fleets and large amounts of capital with them.


In response, European airlines will not only need to defend their home markets, but also need to more aggressively consider how to enter emerging markets. Making equity investments in emerging markets is a particularly good way of achieving the latter. Such investments can give airlines a seat at the table in growth markets with high barriers to entry and position them as preferred partners in the expansion plans of the airlines in which they invest.  Most important, these equity investments buy the means with which to build a flexible global airline strategy and align with a business model that seeks to maximise returns from profitable routes while expanding into emerging regions and getting a piece of the revenue as international travel patterns evolve.

In summary, the future of airlines will depend on how well they digitise their operations and respond to daunting competitive threats.  But the opportunities are there.

More News
Are Your Water Prices About to Rise?
Find Out Now!
Plans to standardise water rates across the country have been unveiled by Irish Water, impacting firms throughout the Greater Dublin Area.
To see what your water bill would look like under the new system, use this online calculator.

The proposed system, which would come into effect in 2019, has been presented to the Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) for review, and further details of the plan are available here. A public consultation is now under way to gage business reaction, and Dublin Chamber will be making a submission in the coming weeks. It is important that the voice of Dublin’s business community is heard.


Dublin Chamber wants to hear from you. What impact do water service charges have on your cost base? And what are you concerns facing into the new water tariff system?


To share your input, please email policy@dublinchamber.ie with ‘Water Tariffs’ in the subject line.

Fair Funding for Dublin
Dublin does not receive a fair share of capital spending, and should be allowed to keep the revenue that it generates through Local Property Tax. This is the message we have sent to the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government as part of the recent consultation on local government funding.

Analysis by Dublin Chamber shows that, far from being a favoured location for Government investment as is often thought, Dublin receives far less than it deserves on a per person basis. In fact, Dublin received the second lowest level of capital investment per head from central government of any county from 2009-2016.
The Chamber has called on Government to recognise the urgent need to allow the capital city to reinvest locally generated revenue, both to improve local services and local infrastructure. We have long argued that Local Property Tax which is raised locally should be spent locally. This will be vital to address the underfunding issues in Dublin, and to improve popular ‘buy-in’ of local government.
Dublin Chamber also warned against making ‘income generating capacity’ from commercial rates a factor for allocating funding to local authorities. Adopting this criterion, would almost certainly lead to a decline in funding for Irish cities, and would encourage local Councils to raise commercial rates. Dublin Chamber’s submission was received by the Department earlier this month.
Papal Visit - Mass Disruption Expected

Pope Francis is coming to Dublin in late August. The size and scale of events in the city on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August will mean significant disruption in the city, with organisers warning that a number of road closures will be in place over that weekend. Full details are available here. Dublin Chamber is in regular contact with the organisers, NTA and An Garda Siochana regarding the visit. If your business has any particular concerns or feedback, please send them to graeme@dublinchamber.ie.

Culture Calendar

What's on in Dublin? These events will offer spaces of calmness and retreat away from the bustling city. 


Face to Face: Palliser’s Irish Portraits

Date: 1st June - 2nd September

Venue: Farmleigh,  White's Rd, Phoenix Park



Date: 11th & 12th August

Venue: Airfield Estate, Dundrum

Face to Face: Anthony Palliser's Irish Portraits

Over eighty portraits of more than thirty renowned Irish cultural figures, completed over a sixteen-year period by the Anglo-Belgian painter Anthony Palliser, will be on display at Farmleigh Gallery, in the Phoenix Park.

Featured in the exhibition will be paintings and drawings of individuals who have, over the past fifty years, contributed significantly to the development of Irish cultural life and its international reputation and appreciation.


For more information click here.


A 2-day NEW summer festival for children and their parents. Playstival celebrates play, imagination, and fun with a range of hands-on, fun and imaginative games and themed play universes.
Play is an integral and important part of children’s lives and the focus of Playstival is to ‘go back to basics’ and experience a more innocent approach to games and play - no fancy technology or screens to be found! Playstival is both interactive and active, kids don’t just sit and watch, they play.
Tickets and more information available here.


Business Ireland Q2- Out Now!

The latest issue of our Business Ireland was published with The Irish Times last week. This Q2 edition features articles on running a family business, MetroLink and Ireland's latest IMD ranking. You can read a pdf version here


The next issue of our magazine Business Ireland will be published in autumn. For advertising opportunities, please contact Emma egleeson@irishtimes.com

Maximise Your Membership Workshop

Want to learn how to get the most out of your Dublin Chamber membership? Join us August 29th for this lunchtime workshop. We will educate members about our events programme as well as the free profiling opportunities we provide. We will also provide helpful tips on how to network and how to grow your business connections.

To book your spot, please email grace@dublinchamber.ie 

Dublin Simon Outreach Support
Warm Weather Update

Dublin Simon Community Outreach services operate 365 days and nights of the year to provide a service to people living on the street. 


Thanks to generous donations, Dublin Simon have been able to distribute packs that include sun-cream, water and other items to ensure people sleeping rough are kept safe and hydrated in light of changeable weather this summer. Watch the video here.

The recent changeable weather has posed an ongoing challenge for people who are rough sleeping and exposed to warm conditions on a daily basis. During winter time, cold weather is often at the forefront of people’s minds, however warmer weather can also prove difficult as humidity and heat related illnesses can cause further discomfort to people experiencing homelessness.
Thanks to generous donations, our Rough Sleeper Team have been distributing warm weather packs that include sun-cream, water and other items to ensure people are kept safe and hydrated. In addition to warm weather packs, any donation you can give during this busy time will ensure we can provide additional support through services like our Rough Sleeper Team and Soup Run. Simply click here to donate.
To find out more about how you and your colleagues can help please click here or contact the corporate partnerships team on corporate@dubsimon.ie or 01 672 8966. 
Bus Network Consultation

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has published its Dublin Area Bus Network Redesign Public Consultation Report. The plans are now out to public consultation and Dublin Chamber will be making a submission before the 28th September deadline. We would welcome your feedback on the plan. Please send to graeme@dublinchamber.ie

Chamber News Roundup

**Membership Plus- New App!**

Download the brand new app today to make the most of your Membership Plus card and easily find over 1,500 offers and discounts at your fingertips!


** Room Hire **

Looking for room hire in the city centre? We have some great room rates available for members here at 7 Clare St. Take a look at our rooms here and for further information contact  Ruthe@dublinchamber.ie.

** Dublin Chamber on Instagram **
Want a little more Dublin Chamber in your life? If you're an Instagram user, be sure to follow our account.



Member News | Member Offers | Member Events