First Ryanair deal for independent Shannon Airport
SHANNON Airport has cut its first deal with Ryanair for new routes since the Government established the independent airport.
Following several months of discussions with the airline, a new summer return route with Alicante will begin at the airport this June.
Chair of Shannon Airport, Rose Hynes said the new relationship with Ryanair was very welcome.
"We said we will grow passenger numbers and that is what we are doing. Today is evidence of that," Ms Hynes said.
While the details of the deal are confidential, it is understood that the airport charges offered to Ryanair at Shannon on the route are more attractive than what was offered when the airport was managed by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
This is the fifth new route to be established by the independent entity following new services to Faro and Glasgow in Europe as well as Chicago and Philadelphia in the US.
Ryanair's deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said the airline's business growth across Europe hasn't been mirrored in Ireland in recent years.
"We hope that trend can be reversed essentially through the lowering of (airport) charges to competitive levels," he said.
Mr Cawley said the new Shannon-Alicante route was a reversal of a trend that has been happening with Ryanair at Shannon for the last three or four years.
Last year, 1.4m passengers travelled through Shannon - a fall from 3.6m in 2007.
"Ryanair is always talking about growth. There is a new attitude and a new inclination to do business in Shannon," Mr Cawley said.
"They need to be aware of the fact that they need to be competitive of other airports that Ryanair deals with," he added.