The low cost carrier will increase the number of routes it operates to and from Shannon to 19 by adding Kaunas (Lithuania) and Manchester (UK) as part of its newly launched summer 2015 schedule.
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life.
Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey said: “Ryanair placed a strong vote of confidence in Shannon in 2014 with nine new routes and 18 destinations. The fact that it is coming back with 19 destinations, greater frequencies than last year and planning to grow passengers by up to 18% shows that its confidence was well placed.
“We are particularly pleased with the retention of the new routes that Ryanair added this year, not least the ones with strong inbound potential, such as from Germany and France. This is very important for the region, all the more so as awareness of the Wild Atlantic Way grows.
“There is also an excellent range of summer sun destinations for holiday makers so the schedule really has an excellent mix of inbound and outbound options.”
Mr Pakey added: “2014 has been a pivotal year for us at Shannon and Ryanair has been hugely instrumental in this, not least on our European network, where we have achieved growth of almost 60% at this stage of the year compared to same period in 2013. We look forward to working closely with Ryanair to ensuring their 2015 summer schedule delivers for them, the airport and this region.
“We would also call on the public to continue to support our routes from Shannon in summer 2015 as this is essential for growing services with Ryanair into the future,” he concluded.
Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy says today’s announcement by Ryanair will help to consolidate the “remarkable growth” recorded at the County Clare airport.
“This announcement is evidence of the remarkable growth that Shannon has experienced in the 20 months since it received independence from the Dublin Airport Authority. The delivery of an additional 125,000 passengers by Ryanair in 2015 is a further tremendous boost to the Airport,” stated Senator Mulcahy.
He added: “Ryanair’s summer 2015 schedule will deliver 65 weekly return flights and will inevitably help to sustain existing jobs as well as create new employment opportunities not only at the airport, but also indirectly throughout the wider tourism sector in the West of Ireland.”
Senator Mulcahy also called on people living and working in the West of Ireland to ensure that new and existing services are maintained into the future. He continued: “We, as a region, cannot afford to be complacent about the services on offer at Shannon as seen with the loss of other services down through the years. By supporting existing services, the people of this region can play an important role in protecting Shannon Airport’s future. To consolidate the future of these new services, I would ask the people of this Region to support Shannon Airport when considering a trip abroad while tourism and hospitality operators can also play their part by promoting the airport as the key gateway to Ireland.”