Shannon Airport has confirmed that over 1,000 additional seats will made available to take Munster fans to Marseille for their Heineken Cup semi-final clash with Toulon later this month.
One such charter flight, on which the Munster team will travel and included a two night stay in the Mediterranean city, is already booked out.
Shannon Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Murphy said: “Marseille is probably rubbing its hands at the thoughts of the influx of Munster fans for the match. We have been inundated at Shannon with calls and emails about flights. That’s something we expected once Munster got through on Saturday as Munster supporters are probably the most dedicated in club rugby and will travel in huge numbers for the game.”
“We have been working hard to get additional capacity and have been successful with the two one-day charters and the team flight, which will involve a two-night stay but which is already booked out,” he added.
“There has also been a a spike in bookings in our Ryanair flights to Stanstead to take advantage of their onward connections to Marseille, while our own Ryanair service to Nice, which is less than two hours from Marseille, is also filling up,” Mr Murphy said.
“Shannon has been fortunate to have had some great moments with Munster rugby over the years, including the incredible scenes as the side returned here from its two Heineken Cup victories, and we are hoping, of course, that they will go all the way again this year. We will be rolling out the red carpet with a number of initiatives at Shannon over the weekend to make sure that the team and fans get the send-off they deserve,” he added.
Andrew Murphy added: “Aer Lingus were charging €316 for a return flight from Dublin to Marseille, a seasonal service they introduced a week early this year to accommodate Munster supporters.
“We would not at all be surprised either if additional charter capacity is announced and will keep fans aware via our website, Twitter account and Facebook pages if there are any developments in that regard,” he added.
Yesterday, a seat on Ryanair’s scheduled Shannon to Nice service cost €380 return the same if someone booked to fly from Dublin to Nice. A return flight from Cork to Marseille with Ryanair was costing €430 last night.
Meanwhile, Shannon Airport has already scored success in Marseille this week, again winning international recognition with the ‘Highly Commended’ award for airports under four million passengers. The award was presented at the Routes Europe Airport Marketing Awards in the French city.
— Shannon Airport (@ShannonAirport) April 9, 2014
— ERC Rugby (@ercrugby) April 11, 2014
@ercrugby that’s a huge blow for Munster they will want it to feel like Thomond park not the Felix Mayol.
— Darren (@dunne92) April 11, 2014