SHANNON has received a major boost this Thursday with the announcement that Ryanair is to add eight new routes from the airport next year.
The new routes to the UK and continental Europe, plus increased services to Stansted, will add 300,000 new seats per year, passenger growth of almost 15%, the airline confirmed. It also believes the increased services will add 300 new on-site jobs.
New routes have been announced from Shannon to Berlin, Munich, Paris, Warsaw, Krakow, Faro, Fuerteventura and Nice.
The new services represent 200,000 extra seats from Shannon in 2014, and 300,000 in a full year, according to Ryanair.
“We are delighted that Ryanair have shown real commitment to the Shannon Region in announcing 8 new European routes for 2014, in addition to the 10 already served from Shannon.”
“The timing of this announcement couldn’t be better for inbound visitors in particular, given the focus next year on the Wild Atlantic Way and on Limerick as the City of Culture,”
Neil Pakey, Shannon Airport CEO
The announcement comes on foot of finance minister Michael Noonan scrapping the air travel tax and a year after Shannon was made independent.
The abolishment of the travel tax in particular sparked an immediate reaction from the airline, which said it was calling in representatives from five airports on a plan to bring an extra one million passengers per annum into the country once the tax change takes effect next April.
The travel tax was one of the reasons cited by Ryanair in slashing services out of Shannon in 2009. Where the airline once had close to two million passengers at Shannon, its 10 routes this year are expected to carry under 500,000.
Clare County Council also welcomed Ryanair’s news, saying it puts the newly independent airport on a “much firmer footing” regarding its future prospects for growth.
“Growth is in direct response to the Government’s welcome decision to scrap the €3 air travel tax from April 2014”.
“The scrapping of the air travel tax will help restore Ireland’s competitiveness and attractiveness to overseas visitors from the UK and Continental Europe in particular. Having met with all five of the main Irish airports, we hope to announce further new route and traffic growth plans over the coming weeks”
Michael Cawley, Ryanair
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