Shannon Airport Passenger Numbers Increased 8% Year-On-Year In 2021
According to a statement from Shannon Airport operator Shannon Group, Shannon Airport passenger numbers increased by 8% year-on-year last year to close to 380,000 from a little more than 352,000 the previous year.
Comparison To 2019
Shannon Group noted, however, that Shannon Airport passenger numbers were down 78% last year compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic 2019.
Strong Recovery In European And UK Services
According to Shannon Group, Shannon Airport experienced a strong recovery in European and UK services last year, with European passenger numbers from the airport recovering to 65% of 2019 levels and the UK market recovering to 43% of 2019 levels, and there was a fivefold increase in passengers for both markets between August and November of last year compared to the same period the previous year.
Shannon Group CEO Statements
Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine stated, "Our team at Shannon Group have been unwavering in our focus on recovery and rebuilding to ensure a successful future for our employees, the people and businesses in our region who rely on our Shannon Airport services for their livelihoods. Although it has been another challenging year, having come through the worst of the Pandemic, we are confident that the foundations for recovery are in place.
"With the welcome announcement of the lifting of restrictions, there is real optimism in the air. While it will still take time for the unwinding of COVID restrictions to filter down into the aviation sector, it is a really positive development for industries devastated by the pandemic."
Considine said, "This summer, we will operate services to 25 destinations with 107 planned weekly frequencies. The return of Transatlantic services to Boston, New York (JFK) and Newark from Shannon in March, combined with our strong European summer flight schedule and the return to full strength of our Heathrow services, are reasons to be optimistic."
She said, "We are very grateful for the government supports announced during the year, and given the enormous task ahead, our airport will continue to need these supports as we rebuild our business in the aftermath of COVID."
Considine continued, "During the period of severe travel restrictions on aviation we took the opportunity to futureproof key elements of our airport infrastructure and continue our property investment strategy across our group campus. We have worked hard to improve the airport experience for all our customers. The installation of a new cutting-edge security system allowed Shannon to become the first state airport to remove the 100ml only rule on liquids in hand baggage. In addition, the new system has halved the time spent in security screening. This and other investments continue to make the passenger journey even easier."
The Shannon Group CEO added, "Sustainability is, and will continue to be, central to everything we do. We are committed to rebuilding our airport traffic and to building on our property investment strategy so that we can enhance our economic contribution to the mid-west region and nationally. We will do this by investing in our people to ensure we are continuing to provide meaningful employment, in our infrastructure so we deliver on our carbon reduction targets and, in our community, to ensure the benefits are felt more widely.
"While 2022 will still be a challenging year, and there is still a considerable journey ahead of us, there are positive signs of recovery which give us confidence."
Shannon Group Heritage Sites And Property Development Acitivites
Shannon Group also said in its statement that significant progress was made last year on transferring its heritage sites to relevant local authorities, and that visitor numbers to the heritage sites decreased by close to 50% since 2019 when the sites had 963,000 visitors, but that there was some recovery last year, with close to 496,000 visitors being recorded, which was an increase from a little more than 300,000 visitors recorded the previous year.
Additionally, Shannon Group said in its statement that its property development activities across the Shannon campus remained strong last year, and that the group is one of the partners supporting the work of Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI) in providing a setting to research and develop the automotive technology.
Shannon Group said that, during the year, FMCI expanded its land-based operation to include research in future air mobility, and that a consortium including Shannon Group worked on plans to establish Ireland's first air mobility research hub.
Shannon Group added that, since its establishment in 2014, Shannon Group has invested more than €145 million enhancing its airport facilities and providing property solutions at its campus for FDI and indigenous companies, more than €60 million of which happened between 2019 and 2021.
© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.