THE SHANNON Group, which manages Shannon Airport, is moving forward with plans to invest €30 million in projects this year with chief executive Mary Considine highlighting signs of recovery as the airport gears up for a busy summer.
Following publication of the Group’s 2021 annual report last week, Ms Considine said that after two hard years, they were finally seeing the clouds part as they work their way through the post-pandemic era.
“Central to this has been the restoration of our year-round London Heathrow service -providing 20 flights per week, a range of European air services, and flights to the United States. In March, we welcomed the return of our Aer Lingus daily year-round services to New York (JFK) and Boston, along with United Airlines’ daily seasonal service to Newark.”
Commenting on the Group’s latest investment strategy, she said; “We are putting the necessary steps in place to facilitate the next stage of our investment programme.”
The cash injection will see investment in new building and airport upgrade projects. Planned investments include upgrading and refurbishing of Bays 135/137 complex in the Shannon Free Zone, the construction of a new 60,000 sq ft multi-unit warehousing development, and construction of a 40,000 sq ft high-bay research and development unit, all located within the Shannon Campus.
Airport infrastructure projects include continued investment in airfield rehabilitation and new passenger airbridges.
“We are the only airport on the west coast of Ireland offering transatlantic services, as well as providing full US pre-clearance to commercial passengers and private jets.” said Ms Considine.
Passenger numbers at Shannon Airport increased by eight per cent in 2021, with almost 380,000 passengers using the airport last year, compared to just over 352,000 in 2020. However, this is still down 78 per cent on 2019 passenger numbers.
“While there is still a significant journey ahead of us, and full recovery is some way off yet, our business strategy, which initially focused on survival, is now firmly in the recovery and rebuilding phase,” says Ms Considine.
Shannon Group delivered an improved financial performance in 2021, with an increase of 18 per cent in turnover to €40.5 million compared to €34.3 million in 2020.