In another positive 12 months for Shannon Group, passenger numbers at Shannon Airport increased for the fourth consecutive year with over 1.74 million flying through the airport.
This amounted to a 2% increase on 2015 and brings to 24% the total increase at the airport in year on year passenger numbers since the airport was separated in 2013.
The US market in particular showed strong gains with 396,708 flying through Shannon from its five American destinations – JFK New York, Newark, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia airports. This is a 4% increase on 2015.
The UK market proved buoyant despite uncertainties around Brexit with 758,371 passengers recorded, a 7% increase over the previous year. Meanwhile, Commercial terminal flights at Shannon were up by +5.5% with an average of 45 commercial daily movements at Shannon.
Last year was also a positive year in terms of business development for the airport with four new airlines - Scandinavian Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air International and Kuwait Airways – all announcing operations at Shannon. This is the first time in 10 years that four carriers new to the Shannon schedule announced services in one year.
Shannon Heritage - the largest operator of day and night-time tourist attractions in Ireland - also saw significant gains in 2016. Visitor numbers at the company’s portfolio of owned and managed day visitor attractions and evening entertainment venues in Clare, Limerick, Galway and Dublin grew by 30%.
The year also saw the Group invest significantly in its individual businesses. Shannon Airport’s key capital spend was a €3 million investment in enhancing the Transit Lounge and European departure gates while at Shannon Heritage €1 million was invested in creating the new-look Bunratty Retail Emporium, extended retail store, a new café, enhanced entrance and refurbished admissions building.
The Group’s property company, Shannon Commercial Properties – owners of 2.4 million sq ft of building space across 300 buildings and in excess of 1,600 acres of land – also in 2016 significantly advanced its €21million phase one redevelopment of the Shannon Free Zone, the world’s first free trade zone. This programme will be completed by the end of 2017, creating 320,000 sq ft state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing, warehousing and office space.
Commenting on the results, Shannon Group CEO, Matthew Thomas said, "If anything in 2016 we saw further evidence of just how significant Shannon Group’s influence is across a very large portion of nation’s regional economy. Shannon Airport and Shannon Heritage are really good barometers for business and tourism activity across the wider region we serve and we saw further growth in both again last year."
He added, "Shannon Commercial Properties, meanwhile, continued its record investment programme in the Shannon Free Zone which will, we are confident, lead to significant inward investment and jobs in the years ahead."