Shannon Airport growth continues to soar as half year figures take flight

Announcing details of Shannon's move to a low carbon campus are John Walsh, ESB, Andrew Murphy, Shannon and Eoghan McMahon, ESB Picture: Arthur Ellis

Announcing details of Shannon's move to a low carbon campus are John Walsh, ESB, Andrew Murphy, Shannon and Eoghan McMahon, ESB Picture: Arthur Ellis

SHANNON Airport has reported strong half year figures, with an increase in passenger numbers translating to its “busiest first half of the year in a decade”.

The airport said half-year figures for 2018 have revealed a 6.6% increase in passenger numbers.

The six month figure suggests that 2018 will be Shannon’s best year as an independent entity outside of 2014 when double digit growth was achieved.

The airport said it was on course by year end to have grown passenger numbers by almost 30% from what they were prior to separation from the State airports’ group.

It is pointing to additional and improved services as the reason for the increase in passenger numbers so far this year, including a new Toronto flight launched early last month with Air Canada and new services to Barcelona-Reus, Bristol and Liverpool with Ryanair, while the airline also increased Manchester frequencies, while there are reasons for opitmism on its transatlantic services.

“We’re delighted with the year so far,” said Shannon Airport managing director Andrew Murphy. 

“We’re reaping the dividend from the hard work of last year in securing these new services and it’s great to see the airport as busy as it is. This is our busiest first half of the year in a decade.

“If anything, the year so far reaffirms the opportunity that there is for growth at Shannon and we see that opportunity opening up even more now with the completion of the motorway right up to Tuam and, in the longer term, we have the M20 being developed to Cork. Our target now is to make sure that the public are aware of these services and use them,” he added.

Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said it was “going to be a really positive year for Shannon”.

“The team at the airport has worked really hard and this validates the confidence we have in our capacity to grow services and passenger numbers and, in doing so, deliver real gains to the region,” he said.

“Our recently published Economic Impact Assessment for the wider group shows we have the potential to stimulate another 7,150 jobs and €577 million in economic impact for the Irish economy by 2021 but central to this is growth of passenger numbers. The more we grow, the better it is for the region.”

Meanwhile, the airport announced this week that it was to become a low carbon green campus.

It plans to slash its energy consumption by one-third by 2020 and deliver significant savings in partnership with ESB’s Smart Energy Services.

The partnership will also see the replacement of an entire suite of older indoor and outdoor lighting with ultra-modern LEDs and explore how to make greater use of renewable energy such as solar PV panels.