AS you may know, I love to travel and, what’s more, I love to travel from Shannon Airport. Having Shannon Airport at our doorstep is a luxury I think we take for granted sometimes. I think back to the heady days of old when Shannon was the centre of the universe as far as we were concerned, with stars of the screen and stage and presidents from across the world regularly coming through.
I had the joy of modelling some of the stunning tweeds and other amazing Irish fashions in the Duty Free shop there regularly from the 1970s onwards. I remember being asked to go out there for a photo and getting up into the engine of the first jumbo jet over 40 years ago. My God, doesn’t time fly, excuse the pun! It was one of my favourite all-time shots.
I’m just back, as I write, from a short spell in the South of France and had the joy again of flying from Shannon. I also had the joy of seeing this great airport so busy again. It was humming on departure and return. There’s definitely a ‘can-do’ spirit out there again; it’s like since it was made independent from Dublin that the clock has been turned back to those heady years.
Before I went I was delighted to be invited to the Shannon Airport-Ryanair Travel Clinic at the Bunratty Castle Hotel. RTE’s Marty Morrissey was MC and had that roguish glint in his eye as he worked the audience at an event to showcase Ryanair’s very strong winter schedule. I was delighted to hear that Shannon has no less than 16 service improvements this year, including nine new Ryanair routes for the summer season and five for the winter.
All I can urge you to do is ‘fly Shannon’. It has a great array of flights again. It must also be one of the most hassle-free and accessible airports in the world. Indeed, it is our very own gateway to the world!