More air routes in Shannon key to boosting economy in mid west, report says

Economic impact of Shannon Group put at €3.6bn a year, supporting 46,000 jobs

The Shannon Group is supporting 46,000 jobs and generating an economic impact of €3.6 billion annually, with this likely to expand considerably in the years ahead, a new report has found.

The report, commissioned from W2 Consulting by Shannon Group, maintains that growth in air connectivity would be central to achieving the increased economic impact over the next five years.

The report finds that the semi-state Shannon Group, which comprises Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties, and Shannon Heritage, Ireland's largest operator of tourist attractions, at present contributes about €1.1 billion in tax revenue to the exchequer.

Shannon Airport generated close to €1 billion in economic activity as measured by gross value added, contributed €318 million annually in revenue to the exchequer, and supported about 13,695 jobs.


The report points to Shannon Group as a key economic engine for the region and suggests it has a pivotal role as a catalyst for achieving the Government’s ambition for a more balanced distribution of growth in Ireland as set out in the recent National Planning Framework.

The report forecasts that the Shannon Group would have an increasing impact in the region and in the economy generally in the years ahead.

It predicts that that its strategic plan would see the annual impact of Shannon Group increase to €4.2 billion, contributing €1.3 billion in exchequer revenue and supporting almost 54,000 jobs in 2021.


Matthew Thomas, chief executive of the Shannon Group, said: "Our €150 million investment plan to 2021, contained in the National Development Plan, is a statement of Shannon Group's intent and our determination to maximise the group's impact. We are accelerating our investment plans to provide the critical infrastructure that will enable our region to grow. Strong regions and regional cities make for a strong national economy. Investment in the Atlantic corridor from Galway through Shannon, Limerick and on to Cork is hugely important to deliver strategic and focused regional development."

The group's chairman Rose Hynes said there was "a growing sense of momentum in our region and we intend to build on this by aggressively investing in key infrastructure and improving connectivity".

“ We are confident that with the right supports and policies, we will play an important role in the successful implementation of the NPF Project 2040.”

The report finds that more than 40 per cent of US companies invested in Ireland were located within the group’s core catchment area.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent