19 May 2022

Signs of recovery at Shannon Airport as key services resume following Covid-19

Shannon Airport

Passenger numbers at Shannon Airport increased by 8% in 2021

THE CEO of the Shannon Group has confirmed the company is seeing signs of recovery as the airport gears up for a busy summer - it's first since 2019.

Commenting following the publication of the Shannon Group's annual report for 2021, Mary Considine (pictured) said the Group has been putting the necessary steps in place to accelerate the next phase of its investment at its Shannon Campus with €30 million already planned for projects starting in 2022.

The report highlights the positivity at the Airport since the resumption of a number of key services.

“After two hard years, we are finally seeing the clouds part as we work our way through the post-pandemic era. Central to this has been the restoration of our year-round London Heathrow service -providing 20 flights per week, a range of European air services, and flights to the United States.  In March, we welcomed the return of our Aer Lingus daily year-round services to New York (JFK) and Boston, along with United Airlines’ daily seasonal service to Newark," said Ms Considine.

“We are the only airport on the west coast of Ireland offering transatlantic services, as well as providing full US pre-clearance to commercial passengers and private jets. We are pleased that we have secured services to 26 destinations in 11 countries from Shannon for our passengers this summer, with more Ryanair services this year compared to 2019,” she added.

Passenger numbers at Shannon Airport increased by 8% in 2021, with almost 380,000 passengers using the airport last year, compared to just over 352,000 in 2020. However, this is still down 78% on 2019 passenger numbers. 

“While there is still a significant journey ahead of us, and full recovery is some way off yet, our business strategy, which initially focused on survival, is now firmly in the recovery and rebuilding phase,” says Ms Considine.

According to its annual report, the Shannon Group delivered an improved financial performance in 2021, with an increase of 18% in turnover to €40.5 million compared to €34.3 million in 2020

“We are grateful for the Government supports we received during 2021, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, the waiver of commercial rates and funding received under the COVID-19 Regional State Airports Programme which were very important in supporting our business through the worst impacts of the pandemic,” noted Ms Considine.

Since it was established in 2014, almost €146 million has been invested by the Shannon Group in the enhancement of Shannon Airport facilities and the provision of property solutions across Shannon Group, providing attractive locations for both FDI and indigenous companies. 

Commenting on this investment Ms Considine said: “During the period of severe travel restrictions on aviation, we took the opportunity to continue our investment strategy across our Shannon Campus, and vital funding was secured from Government to undertake an ambitious capital programme at the airport.

This included future-proofing key elements of airport infrastructure, including a new and significantly enhanced Hold Baggage Screening facility. The airport has taken further steps to improve the passenger experience during this time. 

“The installation of a new state-of-the-art security system allowed Shannon to become the first State airport to remove the 100ml restriction on liquid containers in hand baggage. The introduction of this new technology has halved the security screening time for passengers. These and other investments have contributed to an even smoother and more pleasant passenger journey through the airport,” noted Ms Considine.

Away from Shannon Airport, the Shannon Group says the transfer of Shannon Heritage sites is progressing.

"The transfer of these activities will assist Shannon Group to focus on the recovery of the airport, build back international passengers, while continuing to develop its aviation cluster and associated property activities," the CEO explained.

King John’s Castle transferred to Limerick City and County Council at the beginning of April and the transfer of Shannon Heritage attractions in Clare to Clare County Council is progressing.

“While 2022 will still be a challenging year, and there is still a considerable journey ahead of us, we are committed to maximising all opportunities to build back stronger,” Mary Considine concluded.

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