SHANNON Airport aims to grow passengers by 10% to over 1.5 million this year on the strength of new and expanded services to the UK, Europe and the USA.
Chief executive Neil Pakey gave an upbeat assessment of how Shannon was turning its fortunes around as the airport launched its summer schedule on Monday.
Independence for Shannon and the abolition of the airport departure tax has seen Ryanair add 10 new routes, nine of them starting this week. And Aer Lingus has also expanded existing services to the United States and Britain, while adding new routes to Malaga and Bristol for summer 2014.
“We haven’t had a launch like the one we are having this week since 2005 so it does represent, hopefully, a key turnaround,” Mr Pakey said.
Ryanair’s Maria Macken said advance bookings on its nine new routes - to Munich, Paris, Faro, Warsaw, Krakow, Nice, Poitiers, Berlin and Fuerteventura - were healthy and added some could be retained year-round depending on how sales go in the coming months.
“And a very important thing to remember is the routes will bring a lot of inbound visitors into Shannon,” Ms Macken said.