Shannon Airport, a Shannon Group company, has received major recognition overnight from the European airline community after being chosen as this year’s winner of the Airport of the Year Award from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). This is the Airport’s third win, having secured the prestigious title in 2014 and 2015.
The award was announced last night at a gala event at the ERA’s annual General Assembly, held this year in Edinburgh. The Airport of the Year Award is intended to recognise airports which have had a positive impact on intra-European air transport operations and which recognise the importance of airline-airport partnerships. Previous winners of the award include London City, Budapest and Munich Airports.
Welcoming the Award, Andrew Murphy, Managing Director, Shannon Airport said: “Shannon Airport is delighted to have received this prestigious European accolade from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). Our runway upgrade project, which was self-funded with the assistance of a commercial loan from ISIF, The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, was completed last year ahead of time and under budget. It is part of an overall €40 million investment programme at Shannon Airport on a range of customer-focused projects. For example we reinvented our Shannon Duty-Free shop, the world’s first Duty Free. We added new dining facilities and upgraded our boarding gate area, transit, and executive lounges.
“We opened Europe’s first airport sensory room and delivered a suite of online supports for visitors who need special assistance at the airport setting a new standard for the global aviation industry to follow. We introduced new time-saving technology to reduce US pre-clearance security screening time and make our customers’ journey through the airport even quicker and easier.”
Commenting on the award Matthew Thomas, CEO, Shannon Group plc said: “Getting this award from the aviation industry and our airline customers is a great complement for Shannon Airport and well-deserved recognition for our hard-working team. We have a clear vision to be the fastest, easiest and friendliest airport in Ireland. We will continue to strive to make air travel easy for our community and for visitors to our region. Our goal is for customers to come and see the transformation that is taking place at Shannon Airport and experience for themselves just how easy, enjoyable and time saving it is to use our airport.”
Announcing the award, ERA Director General, Montserrat Barriga said: “Our Airport of the Year Award winner Shannon Airport has successfully managed an existential crisis of the airport’s runway requiring complete renewal. To do this, Shannon Airport achieved €15m of external investment and managed to keep the airport open throughout the project. Remarkably, the project was finished six weeks ahead of schedule and also under budget. Shannon Airport continues to maintain its role as a key part of the community, providing essential connectivity for the region, and I am delighted that it has won this prestigious award this year.”
Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes said: “Securing this award for the third time is a remarkable achievement and deserved recognition of the strides made by the Shannon Airport team to make a visit to the airport easy, unique and memorable.”
The Award is judged by a panel of leading experts drawn from the aviation industry, including past and present CEOs of European airlines and airport consultants.