Scheduled passenger flights resume at Shannon

Scheduled passenger flights resume at Shannon

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File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

Scheduled passenger services to and from Shannon Airport have resumed with the first aircraft arriving this morning from Vienna on its inaugural flight.

While the airport remained open for essential services to facilitate cargo, repatriation and emergency flights during the COVID-19 crisis, scheduled passenger services were suspended with the onset of the pandemic in March.

The first scheduled passenger flight to land at Shannon since March was the inaugural Laudamotion/Ryanair FR3450 service from Vienna. The outbound leg (FR3451) to Vienna carried the first passengers on a scheduled service from Shannon in over three months.

The new service was due to commence in March was this didn’t go ahead however because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Welcoming the return of air services at Shannon, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “Today is an important day not just for Shannon Airport, but for our customers including the tourism businesses and Irish, domestic and FDI companies who rely heavily on our air services. Today marks the slow but encouraging start to the economic recovery for the airport and the region.

“Shannon Airport has remained open throughout the pandemic and I am proud of the role our staff played in facilitating vital PPE cargo flights. Over the past few weeks we have been putting Covid-19 measures in place at the airport so that our passengers can feel confident and comfortable. It was great to see passengers heeded the airport’s advice, in particular the wearing face coverings.

I am happy to say that the first passengers have reported their satisfaction with the new health and safety measures introduced and with the ease of getting around the airport,” said Ms Considine.

Travelling today was Lanzarote native Melanie Perez Martin who was returning home after Au Pairing with the O’Dwyer family in Killaloe/Ballina area. “I’ve been in Ireland for nine months and was last home at Christmas, so I am really looking forward to seeing my family,” she said.

As flights begin to operate again, Shannon Airport has implemented a series of rigorous new public health measures to protect the health and safety of returning passengers and employees at the airport.

Ryanair is due to recommence at total of 16 services from Shannon Airport from today with the first being on the Vienna, Lanzarote and Manchester routes.

Flights to Alicante, Barcelona-Reus, Faro, Fuerteventura, Kaunas, Krakow, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Malaga, Palma, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw, are also expected to resume in the coming days.

Ahead of the resumption of passenger services airport staff have undergone training in Covid-19 passenger precautions.

Other measures implemented at the airport include:

– The installation over 4,000 pieces of COVID-19 signage across the terminal building. Multiple sanitizer dispensers and special hand sanitation stations, along with disinfectant wipes which are located throughout the airport starting at the entry doors.

– In addition to its normal cleaning services, the airport has introduced specialised COVID-19 deep cleaning and sanitisation services.

– Protective glass screens have been erected at key customer facing areas throughout the terminal building including at check-in, all customer service desks, security screening areas, retail and at boarding gates.

– The two-metre social distancing guidelines have been implemented throughout with highly visible floor markings. Our public seating has been reconfigured to ensure social distancing.

– Our Public Address System will play reminders to encourage everyone to maintain social distance and practice hygiene guidelines.

– The measures reflect the national COVID-19 Health Service Executive (HSE) guidelines and government code of practice guidelines for Air Passengers taking on board the best practice guidelines developed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

A spokesperson for Shannon Group said: “The health and safety of our passengers and employees is our number one priority. We have remained open throughout the pandemic, facilitating the arrival into Ireland of vital PPE equipment and were proud to do so. Preparations are now underway to ensure that our passengers returning to Shannon Airport can feel confident with the COVID-19 measures we have put in place throughout the airport.

“We are aiming to make the journey from arrival at the airport car park to boarding an airplane as easy and as contactless as possible. Our airline partners have also introduced new health and safety measures and we will continue to work with them to protect passengers through their entire journey.”

“Shannon Airport is a vital national strategic piece of infrastructure that plays an essential part in bringing business people, tourists and cargo to the region. The ability of this region to rebuild in the aftermath of this pandemic is reliant on having a strong airport and we are working to put measures in place to have airport passenger services up and running with health and safety our priority,” said the Spokesperson.

Find out more about how Shannon Airport’s Safety Charter here.

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