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Colm McLoughlin acknowledged for outstanding contribution to aviation industry

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*Colm and Breeda McLoughlin. 

Colm McLoughlin has been honoured at the annual aviation industry awards.

Galway born McLoughlin who began his career in aviation at Shannon Airport was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Aviation Industry’. The Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free celebrated fifty years in the duty free industry last month, his work over the past five decades most notably with his current company which achieved annual sales of $2.015 billion in 2018.

Delivering the keynote speech on the night, McLoughlin referred to Shannon Airport, Lahinch and Newmarket-on-Fergus where his wife Breeda is from. “I am thrilled to be honoured in this way by the aviation sector in Ireland. I began my duty free career in Shannon Airport, so this means a lot to me to be recognized in my home country”.

“We have just recently concluded two of our major sponsorships in Ireland, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, both of which were a great success and which generated extensive media coverage for our brand. The fact that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open took place in Lahinch this year, which is close to Shannon Airport where the duty free industry began, made it special. Also, my wife Breeda is from Co. Clare, so that made it extra special.”

Previous recipients of the “Outstanding Contribution to the Aviation Industry” award include Willie Walsh, the late Dr. Tony Ryan and Ennis’ Domhnall Slattery.

This year’s awards ceremony saw 20 trophies being awarded to some of Ireland’s leading aviation companies, including Aer Lingus, Avolon, Stobart Air, George Best Belfast City Airpor, and Shannon Duty Free.

At the awards night Mr. McLoughlin was accompanied by his wife, Breeda, along with Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Dubai Duty Free and her husband, Jihad.

Launched in 2014, the Aviation Industry Awards are part of the Business River network, which hosts over 12,000 senior level business professionals at over 30 events, with a wider business network of over 25,000 people.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ,, A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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