Shannon Airport’s nine new European routes have delivered a dramatic month of growth, with a 140% increase in passenger numbers on continental services recorded last month compared to April 2013.
Boosted by a really strong Easter period, Shannon enjoyed its biggest month-over-month increase in over a decade as 31% more passengers flew through the airport in April compared to the same month last year. The sharpest increase, not surprisingly, was recorded in passenger numbers to and from the continent, which more than doubled.
The airport had its biggest month in 10 years in April in terms of route launches, with new services commenced to Munich, Paris, Faro, Warsaw, Krakow, Nice, Poitiers, Berlin, Fuerteventura (all Ryanair) and Bristol (Aer Lingus Regional). April also saw a new Aer Lingus Malaga service commence, while it was also the first full month for the airline’s year-round six times weekly JFK New York service, which commenced at the end of March.
The increase in services is particularly timely with the commencement this year of the Wild Atlantic Way project, the longest defined coastal driving route in the world. Shannon is the key gateway airport for the project as it is not alone the only airport on the west coast with services to a European hub (London Heathrow), providing one-stop connectivity to an additional 170 global destinations, but it is also the only airport on the route, which stretches from Cork to Donegal, with transatlantic services.
Passenger numbers on European routes rose to 38,610, from 16,087 in April 2013, with UK provincial increasing by 27%, from 13,401 to 17,000. Transatlantic, meanwhile, enjoyed an 18% uplift in the month, from 20,147 to 23,852.
Neil Pakey, Chief Executive, Shannon Airport, said that after just one month of the new services there are already strong signs as to the benefits for local tourism. “For the airport, passenger growth is a key objective. We are starting from a low base and a lot of ground needs to be made up but April has been really positive for us.
“One of the great plusses from these services is the strong inbound potential. This was very evident in its first month as we saw German and French visitors coming through Shannon for the first time in years thanks to our new Berlin, Munich and Paris services.
“There is a very strong market on the continent and, of course, in the UK, for the tourism offering on the Atlantic seaboard and we believe we have only begun to tap into its potential. In time, and with the support of strong promotion across those markets, we expect to see a very significant bounce for tourism across this region.
“We are also now delivering superb outbound options, with 37 destinations in all to choose from this year. We have delivered on our promise of new services and it’s up to the public to take advantage.”
Rose Hynes, Airport Chairman, added: “We said at the outset when we were separated that we would grow passenger numbers and this is further evidence of the turn-around at Shannon. The combination of the elimination of travel tax and the contribution made by our airline partners in putting on these new services has been hugely significant for the airport and the region. Shannon is very much in growth mode.”