SHANNON Airport’s summer season has ended on a high with passenger numbers up by 22% and 17% respectively in August and September compared to the corresponding months last year.
It continues the overall trend of passenger growth at Shannon, where management expect a double digit increase in traffic over the full year.
CEO Neil Pakey said the growth was across all Shannon’s markets – mainland Europe, the UK and transatlantic.
Ryanair’s new deal at Shannon appears to have accounted for much of the European growth.
“The biggest percentage growth on the same months last year was across the airport’s European network, with a 73% rise in August - up from 36,702 in same month last year to 63,422 this year - thanks to the eight new destinations across the airport’s continental network,” a spokesman for the airport said. There was in addition a 51% increase in European traffic in September.
Passengers coming from and going to the UK increased by 5% in August and 3% in September. And transatlantic traffic also continues to grow, with this cohort up by 9% in August and 11% in September.
But research shows that while more Americans may be using the airport, a lesser share of them are taking in Limerick when they do come. That is according to a poll of non-Irish transatlantic passengers conducted at Shannon by Red C.
Compared to a similar survey undertaken last year, a greater share of Americans said they had holidayed in or visited Kerry, Galway and Clare while a lesser proportion had made Limerick part of their travel plans.
Some 39% of those surveyed had spent time in Kerry, up from 31% last year. Visitors to Clare were up from 46% to 52%; to Galway from 29% to 34% and to Cork from 22% to 25%.
That Limerick’s share of transatlantic visitors dropped from 22% to 17% during its year as City of Culture poses questions for those marketing the festival overseas.
A separate piece of research, meanwhile, shows that the British are the most likely international visitors to book a room in Limerick hotels.
That is according to data released by the hotel price comparison website trivago.ie.
According to the company, the British accounted for 47% of its hotel searches in Limerick between August 2013 and July 2014, followed by the Germans (21%), Americans (10%), the Spanish (8%), the French (4%) and the Italians (3%).