Shannon Airport has described today’s announcement by Ryanair that it is to deliver over 300,000 new passengers annually with the addition of eight 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 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 10 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.
Neil Pakey, Shannon Group plc Chief Executive, said: “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.”
Rose Hynes, Shannon Group plc Chairman, added: “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 achievment 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.”