New US routes drive first increase in Shannon passengers in five years

Passenger traffic at airport up 8 per cent in June compared with 2012

The number of US armed forces flights stopping off at Shannon Airport is expected to be down this year. Photograph:  Arthur Ellis/Press22.

The number of US armed forces flights stopping off at Shannon Airport is expected to be down this year. Photograph: Arthur Ellis/Press22.

Thu, Jul 18, 2013, 01:00

New routes to the US drove an increase in passenger traffic through Shannon Airport last month.

The airport said yesterday that 160,573 passengers travelled through in June, an 8 per cent increase from 148,531 during the same month last year.

Its statement added it was the first time in five years that the airport has shown month-over-month growth and claimed that the figures show it has turned a significant corner.

Recently-appointed chief executive Neil Pakey said the most pronounced growth had been in US passenger numbers, which were up 38 per cent.

Two new routes to this market have opened since May. US Airways and United Airlines have begun services to Philadelphia and Chicago respectively.

The number of US armed forces flights stopping off at the airport is expected to be down this year. An estimated 76,000 US military personnel will pass through the airport in 2013, 25 per cent fewer than last year.

European services were up 18 per cent during June. Ryanair’s service to Alicante returned to the airport, while Aer Lingus has begun flights to Faro in the Algarve in Portugal.

The Government spun Shannon off from the Dublin Airport Authority in December, giving it full independence.