Shannon Airport’s turnaround scoops top prize

European accolade follows inaugural Airport Achievement Award at the Irish Aviation Industry awards

Shannon Airport's recent turnaround has earned it the overall Airport Achievement Award from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).

The accolade follows its inaugural Airport Achievement Award at the Irish Aviation Industry Awards in June and last Monday week's prestigious prize for airports under four million passengers at the World Routes Awards in Chicago.

It is the first time that ERA has given its overall award to an Irish airport. Previous winners include London City, Budapest and Munich airports.

Shannon received its prize at ERA's annual congress in Barcelona, Spain. The judges noted that the Irish hub stood out for ending years of what was "seemingly interminable decline" by attracting new airline customers and making a profit in its first year as an independent entity.

Shannon Group chief executive, Neil Pakey, said that the award validated the efforts of all at the airport and the the region, in turning its fortunes around since it was spun off from Dublin Airport Authority at the beginning of 2013.

“It is always great news when your customers acclaim you as the best, and for our airlines to vote for us for this prestigious award is fantastic,” he said. “Credit to the dedicated team at Shannon who help make us who we are.”

Shannon Group Chairman Rose Hynes said : "This is great recognition for Shannon and the efforts here in the run-up to and since separation. Shannon was on a downward cycle when it was made independent. But we not alone convinced Government that independence could work but have been very busy making it work since and we don't intend there to be any let up."