Thursday, 24 October 2013: Shannon Airport has described today’s announcement by Ryanair that it is to deliver over 300,000 new passengers annually with the addition of 8 new services as hugely significant in the growth plans of the independent airport.
The Ryanair commitment, which will see the airline operate services to 18 locations from Shannon at the end of April 2014, confirms Shannon as a key catalyst of growth for the region, providing a major boost for both tourism and business interests.
The new services that Ryanair will commence from next year are Berlin, Paris, Fuerteventura, Warsaw, Faro, Munich, Nice and Krakow, with an increase in frequency between Stansted and Shannon.
The announcement comes on top of an already successful initial ten months for the airport as an independent entity. In that period Shannon has managed to grow month-over-month passengers for the first time in five years with significant increases across the summer season.
Said Ryanair Deputy Chief Executive & Chief Operating Officer Michael Cawley: “Ryanair is pleased to announce 8 new routes and increased frequency on the Stansted route from Shannon in April 2014, which will deliver 300,000 additional passengers p.a. and support 300 new on-site jobs at Shannon. This growth is in direct response to the Government’s welcome decision to scrap the €3 air travel tax from April 2014.
“The scrapping of the air travel tax will help restore Ireland’s competitiveness and attractiveness to overseas visitors from the UK and Continental Europe in particular. Having met with all five of the main Irish airports, we hope to announce further new route and traffic growth plans over the coming weeks.”
Welcoming the announcement, Shannon Group plc CEO Neil Pakey said that it ensures 2014 will take up where 2013 finishes off for the airport. “We are delighted today to be welcoming this very significant commitment by Ryanair. It is a huge boost to the airport and to the wider region. We have enjoyed significant growth on transatlantic services this year with month-over-month increases of up to 40% but one of our key priorities beyond that was to deliver more European services. The importance of this announcement by Ryanair cannot be understated in that regard.
“This represents particularly good news for 2014 with the Wild Atlantic Way project coming on stream and also Limerick National City of Culture here on our doorstep. Now that we have secured these services it is essential that they are promoted heavily abroad by our tourism agencies, whom we will work closely with, and that our own outbound market here takes advantage of them.”
Also welcoming the announcement, Shannon Group plc Chairman Rose Hynes said: “We said at the start of the year that growing passenger numbers was our number one priority. Today’s announcement by Ryanair is a milestone achievement in that regard and proof again of the positive growth path that the airport is now on.
“From an airline perspective, this is a very positive response by Ryanair following the welcome initiative by Government in last week’s budget to end the Air Travel Tax from next April. We are delighted that Shannon is the first airport to benefit from this very positive commitment.”
Shannon Airport, a State-owned international airport based on Ireland’s west coast, became an independent entity on January 1st last when it was separated by Government from the Dublin Airport Authority group.
The separation of the airport was the first in a two phase process, the second element of which is the merging of the airport with the activities of the restructured regional development agency Shannon Development.
The new Shannon Group plc, to be formally established by legislation in the coming months, will develop both the airport and its property assets, sustainably grow annual passenger numbers - with a 2.5million passenger target within five years - and create an International Aviation Services Centre (IASC).
The International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) will focus on further developing the existing 40 aviation related businesses currently employing 1,600 people at Shannon into a globally significant aerospace cluster.