Shannon Airport’s year has taken-off emphatically with the 16 service enhancements, including nine new Ryanair routes, for the summer season resulting in a 15% increase in the first half of the year in terminal passenger numbers, latest statistics show.
A break-down of figures revealed at a joint Shannon Airport-Ryanair Travel Clinic in Bunratty to promote the airline’s winter schedule, complete with five additional services on last year’s schedule, shows that passenger numbers on European routes have enjoyed a 54% uplift in the year to date.
The bulk of the increase has been driven by the nine new services – to Munich, Paris, Faro, Warsaw, Krakow, Nice, Poitiers, Berlin, Fuerteventura – launched by Ryanair in April. Overall, passenger numbers through the Shannon terminal in the first six months of the year were 653,894, up from 568,133 in the same period last year.
The increase, which is timely in the context of the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route this year, has not just been confined to Europe, with UK passengers showing a return to growth after some challenging years with a 5% increase and transatlantic up by 11%.
Shannon Airport Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Murphy said: “We are really happy with the passenger numbers so far this year. We worked hard with our airline partners to secure the new services and there has been a really positive response from the public.
“We have made huge strides this year in meeting the demand for services to and from Shannon with the nine new routes for the summer season. We are also looking at a better upcoming winter season thanks to the five additional services that Ryanair have announced.
“The significant increases in services are very timely this year with the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way. Shannon is the only airport on the route with services from all three key markets, the US, UK and Europe. If Shannon is going well, it bodes well for the route.”
Shannon-based Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy says the news that Shannon Airport recorded a 15% increase in passenger traffic is “a welcome development in light of the impending formal establishment of Shannon Group plc.”
The Shannon Aviation Services and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill recently passed through the Dáil and is shortly expected to be ratified by the Seanad. The legislation will result in the setting up the new Shannon Group to take control of the running Shannon Airport and its surrounding landbank.
According to Senator Mulcahy: “Ever since independence was secured from the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), significant progress has been made by management at Shannon Airport in reversing the downward trend for passenger traffic. The expansion of existing services and the commencement of new services to and from Shannon has re-established the airport as Ireland’s second busiest airport, behind Dublin, which is an outstanding achievement for everyone concerned. It is further evidence of the growth potential that exists at Shannon.”
Speaking ahead of the passage of the Shannon Aviation Services and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill through the Seanad, Senator Mulcahy said: “By merging an independent Shannon Airport, which has already performed excellently in delivering new services, with the extensive property holdings, experience and expertise of Shannon Development this legislation will allow for the creation of a strong State Company that will work with the IDA and Enterprise Ireland on developing an International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) in the wider Mid West Region.”