Aer Rianta International ends Shannon link
Shannon Airport's long association with Aer Rianta International (ARI) has come to an end.
The €1bn-a-year duty-free operator was created out of Shannon Airport and was 'the jewel in the crown' at the airport for many years, but remained with the DAA as part of Shannon Airport securing its independence from the airport operator in 2013.
Post-Shannon securing its independence, ARI kept a small staff at the airport, but the final 11 Shannon based workers at ARI have now been either redeployed, taken early retirements or a voluntary severance package.
"The global travel retail sector is constantly changing, but we will always be proud of our roots in Shannon, where we opened our first duty-free store in 1947," said ARI spokesman Paul O'Kane yesterday.
"From those pioneering beginnings, ARI now employs more than 3,000 people in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific - including 300 in Ireland where it operates retail outlets at Dublin and Cork airports.
"ARI has a managed turnover of more than $1bn in its 16 retail locations worldwide."
Explaining the decision to shut down its Shannon operation, Mr O'Kane said "The business in Shannon had reduced significantly since 2013, after ARI exited its Russian and Ukrainian business.
"ARI staff in Shannon had provided buying and support functions for business in Russia and the Ukraine. Activity declined further after the Shannon Airport Authority decided not to award its airport retail contract to ARI shortly after SAA separated from DAA group." In 2016, ARI recorded pre-tax profits of €18.2m as revenues dipped by 14pc to €28.2m.