Shannon Airport enjoys modest bounce in passenger numbers

Airport looks forward to return of US flights as 2021 numbers still 78% short of pre-pandemic traffic

Passenger numbers through Shannon Airport last year were 78%  down on pre-pandemic figures, though ahead of 2020. Photograph: Arthur Ellis/Press22

Passenger numbers through Shannon Airport last year were 78% down on pre-pandemic figures, though ahead of 2020. Photograph: Arthur Ellis/Press22

 

Almost 380,000 people travelled through Shannon Airport last year, 78 per cent fewer than in 2019, new figures show.

Shannon Group, the airport’s owner, said the total was 8 per cent ahead of the 352,000 passengers handled in 2020, the year that Government Covid-19 curbs froze travel.

Vaccination programmes and the delayed introduction of the EU digital Covid certificate on July 19th, when the Government dropped its ban on “non-essential” travel, aided the modest recovery last year.

European traffic recovered to 65 per cent of 2019 levels, while the number of passengers travelling to and from the UK was 43 per cent of pre-pandemic totals.

Passengers to these regions grew fivefold on 2020 numbers between August and November 2021, the period when travel recovered most strongly in the Republic.

Flights to Boston, Newark and New York will restart from Shannon this year, said group chief executive Mary Considine.

“This summer we will operate services to 25 destinations with 107 planned weekly frequencies,” she confirmed.

Ms Considine said the welcome axing of Covid restrictions would take time to “trickle down” to air travel. She added that the move was positive for industries devastated by the pandemic.

State-owned Shannon Group is transferring its heritage sites, including Bunratty Castle in Co Clare and Malahide Castle in Co Dublin, to local authorities. Last year these businesses attracted just half the 963,000 visitors they did in 2019.