*Munster Rugby squad check-in at Shannon Airport

Shannon Airport had a strong growth surge in 2023 with 1.958 million passengers welcomed to the airport, a 29 per cent increase on 2022 activity.

This strong performance saw the airport achieve its highest passenger numbers since 200914 years ago, with growth in air services across all markets.

Passenger numbers to and from Continental Europe rose by 41 per cent to over 748k; UK traffic increased by 31 per cent recording 838k, while transatlantic passenger numbers increased by 24 per cent to 296k.

These results build on the recent publication of an independent report by Oxford Economics showing that The Shannon Airport Group delivers a major contribution of almost €4 billion (€3.96bn) to Ireland’s GDP, supports over 20,300 jobs across the Irish workforce, and contributes €643m in tax revenues.

Commenting on the Group’s positive performance in 2023, Mary Considine, CEO of The Shannon Airport Group said: “These results are a testament to the hard work of our team across The Shannon Airport Group, the loyalty of our customers and stakeholders, and support from Government.

“Shannon Airport’s temporary inclusion in the Regional Airports Programme helped us enormously to rebuild in the aftermath of COVID-19, and in 2023, much welcome Government funding supported our airport operation”.

“We have achieved much, but know we can achieve even more for our region with continued Government support. Ultimately, Shannon Airport’s permanent inclusion in the Regional Airports Programme will deliver economic benefits for Ireland, aligning as it does with the Government’s own ambitions for ensuring balanced regional development. We have been lobbying hard for this for some time and continue to do so as we await the outcome of the Government’s Mid-Term Review of the Programme due shortly.”

Shannon Airport’s service offering was boosted considerably in 2023 with new Ryanair services to destinations including Naples, Porto, Béziers and Liverpool, as well as additional capacity on some popular destinations, particularly during peak holiday times and school holidays. Another highlight was the launch of the new Aer Lingus service to the hub airport of Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Transatlantic services at Shannon received a major boost in 2023 with the launch by United Airlines of a new daily Chicago service. Passengers can look forward to even more transatlantic services in 2024 with the return of the Delta Air Lines daily seasonal service from Shannon to New York JFK beginning in May this year. This will bring the total number of US services from Shannon to five.

In addition to its airport operation, The Shannon Airport Group also owns and manages a significant property portfolio, which it uses to attract FDI and indigenous investment to the region. In 2023, The Group invested over €17 million across the Shannon Campus to provide property solutions for business and enhance airport facilities. Key projects undertaken during the year included the completion of a new €7.6 million 60,000 sq. ft. multi-purpose industrial unit, and a €6.2 million 40,000 sq. ft. R&D technology unit. The Group also completed a number of infrastructural projects at the airport, among these, rehabilitation work on an airport taxiway.

In 2023, the Group continued to execute its Sustainability Strategy, successfully attaining Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 2 certification and is currently advancing towards Level 3.

Implementing its strategy to reduce its energy consumption, the Group partnered with the ESB to complete a major lighting project. This initiative, involving the replacement of over 4,000 indoor and outdoor lights with cutting-edge LED bulbs, resulted in a remarkable two-thirds reduction in the airport’s lighting energy consumption.

In addition, sixteen EV charging points were rolled out across the Campus, and eight electric vehicles were introduced at the airport as part of the Group’s commitment to transition its fleet to a low carbon alternative. The Group also unveiled a new five-year Biodiversity Action Plan. This comprehensive plan outlines a series of initiatives aimed at preserving and enhancing biodiversity across the Shannon Campus.

Looking ahead, Ms. Considine expressed confidence in the upcoming year; “We believe the year ahead will be positive. Our airport and commercial property activities create an environment that boosts economic growth and helps the region develop. Shannon was voted the best Irish airport brand in 2023 by Red C, and our customer focused approach will continue to be at the core of everything we do at Shannon Airport in 2024, as will growing our commercial property portfolio.”

Ms. Considine also highlighted the potential for the Shannon Estuary to become a major global hub for renewable energy, focusing on offshore wind energy. “The strategic location of Shannon Airport offers huge potential for the development of sustainable aviation technology and the production of green fuel for the aviation sector, as recommended by the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce Report. We will continue to work closely with the Taskforce and Government to seize this opportunity,” she said.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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