THE FIRST annual report form an independent Shannon Airport has broken even financially and achieved the first growth in passenger numbers in five years.
Shannon Airport made significant progress on a number of key strategic goals which it set out to achieve in 2013, the Airport’s annual report states.
Those goals include stemming the five year decline in passenger numbers, increasing connectivity, transitioning the key operating and processing systems to a stand-alone basis, securing the financial position of the company, achieving a financial breakeven position and putting in place the structures and plans for the Shannon Group plc.
The airport’s Annual Report & Accounts 2013 – presented to and approved by the Shannon Airport Authority board at its Annual General Meeting – show that the Airport achieved a break-even position in its first year as well as the first positive growth (1.39 to 1.4million passenger) in passenger numbers in five years.
Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey said that the first year in the life of the independent airport company produced financial and traffic results in line with targets. However, he added that there can be no let-up in the airport’s focus and efforts to secure further traffic growth and positive financial performance going forward.
Mr Pakey expressed confidence that the airport will continue to build in 2014 on the growth achieved in 2013, with passenger numbers expected to achieve double digit growth this year. “There are undoubtedly more challenges ahead, but I believe real and significant growth is attainable,” he said.
“Whilst we aim to continue to grow the market, we must also align the business to the markets we are growing, so increased focus must also be given to managing our cost base going forward.”
Outside the overall financial and passenger number results, other operational highlights cited in the report include
· Securing nine new direct routes from Shannon for 2014 and, in total, 16 airline network enhancements in terms of frequency and capacity
· Ryanair increasing its services (by 66%) at Shannon at a proportionately greater level than any other European airport
· Transatlantic traffic rebounded with 37% growth in peak summer season
· New management team assembled to take the business forward
· Increased emphasis on stakeholder and community
· Substantially completed transition from the DAA, in readiness for further transition into the Shannon Group plc
Shannon Airport Chairman Rose Hynes said that the transition following the Airport’s independence is bringing a new culture of entrepreneurship, optimism and creativity which is being applied to address the opportunities and challenges facing Shannon Airport and the Shannon Group. The Group will combine Shannon Airport with the property ownership and management activities of Shannon Commercial Enterprises Limited, as well as Shannon Heritage and the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) which builds on the aviation related activities already located at the Airport and in the Shannon Free Zone area.
“Our mission for Shannon Airport is to continue to drive the traffic numbers, increase connectivity, reduce our operating cost base including through efficiencies, improve the financial performance and develop a broad-based aviation industry cluster centred on the Airport and on the adjacent Shannon Free Zone lands.
“We also look forward to the enactment of legislation this month which will lead to the establishment of the Shannon Group plc,” she said.