SHANNON AIRPORT’s new route to Barcelona-Girona has taken to the skies for the first time, five weeks after it was initially due to.

News of the five week commencement delay “for operational reasons” was first reported by The Clare Echo in March and came just three weeks after the service was announced.

Now that it has up and running, the Ryanair service will operate twice weekly, each Tuesday and Saturday until the end of October 2022.

Passengers boarded the 8:40am service for the first time on Tuesday morning in what is the second Ryanair flight to the Catalonia region from Shannon Airport.

Clarecastle’s Jim Lynch was among the passengers for the inaugural flight, he was hopeful the public would make the most of the service. “I am lucky enough to have a house just over the border in France. I will arrive now in Girona, and I will be able to pick up my car and will hopefully be in my house in about 45 minutes. That basically means leaving Shannon Airport at 8.40am and being in my house in the South of France at about 12.30pm Irish time, which is just incredible. I hope people use this flight. Just to go to Barcelona for the weekend, you can get on the plane, and get into Barcelona and have a great time. Girona is a beautiful city also. People normally head to Barcelona, but you can go to Girona itself for two or three days – it is a fabulous city as well. So, I am delighted with the flight and long may it last”.

Chloe Mulligan travelled to Shannon Airport from Co. Roscommon was also departing on the inaugural service with Ryanair. Chloe said, “We are going to Girona, and we are super-duper excited. This morning we went through Shannon Airport easy breezy and are really looking forward to the rest of the trip”.

West Clare duo, Lucy and Aidan O’Malley remarked “how handy” it was to travel from Shannon to Barcelona-Girona for their holiday break in Costa Brava. Lucy said, “We have loads of time to spare because we got through security and everything. It took less than ten minutes, so it is excellent.” Aidan added, “It’s a pleasure going through [Shannon Airport] here, the convenience of it and the flight here is now close to where we are going on holidays, so overall, [we are] looking forward to it.”

Barcelona–Girona offers multiple destination options for holidaymakers from Shannon due to its central location between Barcelona and Costa Brava. Girona is just a 38-minute train journey from Barcelona, served by regular rail services. A historical town, Girona dates back to the time of the Roman Empire, boasting fantastic views and a walk along its medieval walls to the east of the old town. The city is known for having one of the best-preserved Jewish neighbourhoods in Europe and was also one of the filming locations for the HBO series, Game of Thrones.

The new service will be welcome news to many football fans as in addition to the already established Shannon-Barcelona service, this offers them an additional access option for the opportunity to watch FC Barcelona in action.

Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, Europe’s third most visited city, also serves the stunning Costa Dorada region – its name translating to the ‘Golden Coast’. The area is known for its calm and shallow waters and its main city, Tarragona, famed for the Roman Tarragona Amphitheatre and a 12th-century cathedral.

The new Barcelona-Girona service is part of Ryanair’s summer schedule which is delivering over 60 weekly flights from Shannon Airport to 20 plus destinations in 2022.

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