Shannon lands its first new service since leaving DAA
Published 01/02/2013 | 05:00
Shannon Airport has secured its first new service since it was cut free from the Dublin Airport Authority just a month ago.
The airport, which has committed to rebuilding passenger numbers to 2.5 million by 2018, has confirmed that the Shannon-to-Glasgow link will be reopened from May by Europe's largest regional airline, Flybe.
Flybe previously operated a successful service from Shannon to Birmingham between 1999 and 2005.
The last Shannon-to-Glasgow service was operated by Aer Arann, on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional. It began in July 2010; however, the operation was short-lived.
The new flights to Glasgow will operate three times weekly from May and are expected to generate over 10,000 additional passengers through Shannon Airport in 2013.
Shannon Airport Authority chairman Rose Hynes, who add-ressed the Joint Oir-eachtas Committee on Transport on the future of Shannon last week, said: "We said that the immediate focus of an independent Shannon would be passenger growth. This is a good start and there will be more to come."
Head of aviation development at Shannon, Declan Power, said: "Glasgow is an excellent service, with two-way demand.
"It is an extremely attractive destination; it has a huge cultural heartbeat and was Europe's first ever designated City of Culture. There is a very strong Irish tradition there as well, not least built around Glasgow Celtic Football Club."
Flybe's director of marketing, Simon Lilley, said: "We have every confidence that this additional new service will prove successful in offering an attractive and affordable way for travellers to access this growing business and leisure destination that is widely regarded as the west of Ireland's premier gateway."
This is the first new service to be announced for Shannon since it received its independence from the DAA on December 31.
It was also confirmed recently that Pakistan International Airlines plans to use Shannon as a transit stop three times weekly and has already requested tenders from ground handling agents.
Russia's second largest airline is also seeking to use Shannon as a stopover on its Moscow-to-Miami route; however, the arrangement has not yet been finalised.
The new Flybe service brings the total number of routes that will be served this summer from Shannon Airport to 32.
New services to Chicago, Philadelphia and Faro were confirmed last year and these are expected to see a 70,000 boost in passenger numbers at Shannon this year. Figures for 2012 show a drop from 1.6 million passengers to just under 1.4 million. Up to 63pc of this resulted from a significant drop in the number of US troops that transited Shannon last year.
The SAA has committed to rebuilding passenger numbers to 2.5 million by 2018.