Boost for Shannon as Stobart’s Birmingham service starts up

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Boost: Dioma Conway, Aer Lingus Ground Staff, Sandra Marsh, Aer Lingus Duty Manager, and Declan Power, Head of Aviation Development, Shannon Airport. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Fusionshooters
SHANNON Airport’s summer season will get a boost tomorrow when Stobart Air’s six-times weekly service to Birmingham commences.

SHANNON Airport’s summer season will get a boost tomorrow when Stobart Air’s six-times weekly service to Birmingham commences.

The service, operated under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, will deliver an additional 45,000 seats into Shannon and bring to 35 the total number of destinations operated from the airport in 2015.

It comes as Shannon saw a five percent growth in passenger numbers for May, compared to the same month last year.

Shannon had been working hard to replace the route after Stobart Air stopped using the airport as a base and cut services to Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh in January.

Declan Power, head of aviation at Shannon, said the commencement of the Birmingham route this Thursay would “add to the summer momentum”.

“Our passenger numbers for May were up by 5% on last year and the summer season has definitely kicked off,” he explained.

“However, one of the areas we need to grow is UK provincial. Birmingham is the third largest airport in the UK outside of London and has a catchment of 20 million people within 90 minutes travel time, so we see strong potential here for inbound business and leisure passengers, which is good for the region.

“There’s also a strong outbound demand, with Birmingham serving a large swathe of the UK and is itself a business hub and, not least because of its midland location, a major conference centre. This is a very positive development for Shannon and our passengers and we look forward to making the service a real success

The service will operate each day, except Saturdays, out of Birmingham, departing at 4.55pm and arriving in Shannon at 6.35pm, the return leg leaving at 7pm and touching down in the UK at 8.35pm.

The airport’s five percent jump in traffic in May, year on year, included an increase of 15% from European markets and 3% from London, the single biggest city market for Shannon by far.

The biggest growth market was the US, the highest spending market for inbound tourism, with an 18% increase in May across the airport’s American network, which has services to Boston, Chicago, JFK New York, Newark and Philadelphia.