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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Shannon Group CEO says airport ‘on road to recovery’

Shannon Airport is performing ahead of expectations and is set to deliver 80pc of passenger numbers this year from before the pandemic.

Hait is according to Shannon Group CEO Marie Considine, who told a June meeting of Clare County Council that she is “convinced we are on the right track for recovery” due to the reduction in demand for air travel.

In 2019, the airport recorded passenger traffic of 1.7 million. Ms Considine said the airport expects 75pc to 80pc of pre-pandemic traffic this year.

“We are doing much better than we anticipated at the start of the year,” she said.

An 80pc projection of pre-pandemic passenger figures would provide passenger numbers of 1.37 million for 2022.

“We’ve definitely felt the boom,” she said.

Ms. Considine also urged maximum use of Shannon’s three Heathrow slots as the guarantee on the slots expires in September. Mr. Considine said that if the routes are properly supported, their viability will never be questioned.

In his address, Shannon Group’s newly appointed chairman, Conel Henry, told councilors Shannon was “in poor health”.

“It is a very, very well run business, financially resilient and has very strong potential,” said Mr. Henry.

However, he cautioned that there are obstacles in its way.

“The challenge for the airport is the challenge for aviation in Ireland. We have a very imbalanced aviation sector.

“We have 87pc going through one airport and 13pc going through five airports and four of those five airports are competing for that 13pc – effectively their ability to compete with Dublin’s offering. reducing capacity.

“So you have this weird situation of people driving past three airports to take flights out of Dublin. It’s not appropriate for any state and something that needs to be addressed.

“This is a policy challenge and there is a real need to read the National Aviation Policy to see how we have the best competitive aviation proposition in the state.”

Mr Henry vehemently opposed a call from the floor that the Shannon Group chair assume an executive role in running the airport.

“The last thing Shannon Airport needs is more management,” he said. “It needs a clear plan supported by all stakeholders.”

Mr Henry said he has great confidence in the management team at Shannon and said there is a misconception that if you throw more managers at a problem it will be solved.

“That’s not how it works, it will just create more noise,” he said.

Earlier, Ms Considine said Ryanair now flies to more destinations from Shannon than it did before the pandemic.

She also revealed that for the first time since 2010, Shannon has a daily transatlantic link to Boston and New York throughout the year.

Ms Considine said that through economies of scale, flights out of Dublin could be cheaper for travelers than Shannon, but urged travelers to double check the total cost of traveling.In.

World Nation News Desk
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