Growth in passenger numbers at Shannon Airport has been tailing off since early this year, according to new figures which show that business actually fell during what should have been one of the tourist season’s busiest months.
Figures show that, in January, February and March, a total of 213,000 people travelled through the airport. This represented month-on-month increases of between 28.4 per cent and 38.3 per cent on the same period in 2014.
However, the acceleration in growth stalled in April, when numbers fell 3.1 per cent to 132,028. Growth returned at a slower pace in May, which was 4.1 per cent up at 162,341.
Traffic reached 194,542 in June, just 0.5 per cent more than during the same month in 2014, while it increased by 2.6 per cent in July to 271,827.
Numbers fell 3.9 per cent in August, one of the busiest months of the tourist season, to 200,067. They recovered slightly in September, when they rose by 2.8 per cent to 168,479.
The double-digit increases in the first quarter are down to the fact that Ryanair launched a series of new services in the spring of 2014.
It increased passenger numbers at the mid-western airport by about 300,000 over the last nine months of 2014 and the first three of 2015.
However, sources pointed out yesterday that the impact of the additional Ryanair services had “washed through” the figures by April, the point from which the airport’s growth slowed.
In January, Aer Lingus Regional, operated under contract by Stobart Air, pulled a series of services from Shannon to Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh, resulting in the loss of 20 flights a week.