Shannon group chief executive Neil Pakey to leave in June
State company’s board begins search for successor
The then transport minister Leo Varadkar with Shannon Group chairman Rose Hynes and CEO Neil Pakey.
Shannon’s board recently decided that it would not be renewing Mr Pakey’s contract, which ends in June 2016, the third anniversary of his appointment.
As a result, he will be leaving the company and the board has begun the search for a replacement.
Mr Pakey had previously been chief executive of John Lennon Airport in Liverpool .
He was the first chief executive appointed after the Government made Shannon independent from Dublin Airport Authority.
Since joining he has overseen the establishment of the Shannon Group, a new State company responsible for both the airport and developing an aviation business centre on its surrounding land.
Shannon has grown passenger numbers over the time, benefitting from the Goverment decision to axe travel tax, which in turn prompted Ryanair, Aer Lingus and other carriers to expand services from Irish airports.
The mid-western airport made a profit in its first year of independence and saw a raft of new routes launched in the early part of 2014.
Its fortunes this year have been more mixed as the rate of growth slowed sharply in the spring and passenger numbers fell almost 4 per cent to 200,067 in August, one of the busiest months of the tourist season.
However, its numbers were up 4 per cent in November at 1010,000 and Shannon recently reported that it is on track for one of its busiest Christmases ever.
According to Shannon Group chairwoman, Rose Hynes, airport passenger numbers will be up 22 per cent since it split from Dublin by the end of this year.
Over that time, group has taken over Shannon Commercial Properties, the old Shannon Development portfolio, established the International Aviation Services Centre and the group’s heritage arm.
“All of this happened with Neil Pakey as chief executive, playing a key role in leading the team in the rebirth of Shannon as a catalyst for growth for the entire region,” she said.
Mr Pakey said that he was looking forward to a new challenge once he completes his contract with the group. “There’s an exciting future ahead for the Group and I wish the Board well in recruiting a new chief executive to carry on this work,” he added.
During his time at the helm of John Lennon Airport, Mr Pakey oversaw growth in passengers from less than one million a-year to 5.5 million.