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


The Shannon Group CEO has confirmed the business is seeing signs of recovery as the airport prepares for a busy summer – it’s the first since 2019.

Commenting following the publication of the Shannon Group’s annual report for 2021, Mary Considine (pictured) said the group had put in place the necessary measures to accelerate the next phase of its investment in its Shannon campus with 30 million euros already planned for projects starting in 2022.

The report highlights positivity at the airport since a number of key services resumed.

“After two difficult years, we are finally seeing the clouds part as we navigate the post-pandemic era. At the heart of this has been the restoration of our year-round London Heathrow service – providing 20 flights a week, a range of European air services and flights to the US. In March, we welcomed the return of our year-round daily Aer Lingus services to New York (JFK) and Boston, as well as daily seasonal United Airlines service to Newark,” said Considine.

“We are the only airport on the west coast of Ireland to offer transatlantic services, as well as providing full US pre-clearance to commercial passengers and private jets. We are delighted to 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 nearly 380,000 passengers using the airport last year, compared to just over 352,000 in 2020. However, this remains down by 78% compared to the number of passengers in 2019.

“Although we still have a long way to go and full recovery is still a long way off, our business strategy, initially focused on survival, is now firmly committed to the recovery and reconstruction phase,” says Ms. Considine.

According to its annual report, the Shannon group achieved an improvement in its financial performance in 2021, with an 18% increase in turnover to €40.5m compared to €34.3m in 2020.

“We are grateful for the government support we have received in 2021, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Program, Commercial Fare Waiver and funding received through the Airport Regional Airports COVID-19 Program. State, who have been very important in sustaining our business through the worst impacts of the pandemic,” Ms. Considine noted.

Since its inception in 2014, nearly €146 million has been invested by the Shannon Group in improving facilities at Shannon Airport and providing real estate solutions across the Shannon Group, providing attractive locations for FDI and local businesses.

Commenting on the investment, Ms Considine said: “During the period of severe aviation travel restrictions, we took the opportunity to pursue our investment strategy at our Shannon campus, and vital funding was secured. government to undertake an ambitious capital program at the airport.

This included key elements of future-proof airport infrastructure, including a new and significantly improved 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 carry-on baggage. The introduction of this new technology has cut passenger security screening time in half. These and other investments have helped make passengers’ journeys through the airport even smoother and more enjoyable,” 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 help Shannon Group to focus on reviving the airport, rebuilding international passengers, while continuing to develop its aeronautical cluster and the associated real estate activities”, explained the CEO.

King John’s Castle was transferred to Limerick City and County Council in early April and the transfer of heritage attractions from Shannon to Clare to Clare County Council is progressing.

“Although 2022 is still a difficult year and we still have a considerable way to go, we are committed to maximizing all opportunities to build back stronger,” concluded Mary Considine.

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