Abolition of travel tax has been great for Shannon – Breen

December 1st, 2014 - Pat Breen

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary commends Government’s “foresight”

Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, has said that the commitment of Ryanair to Shannon is great news for the airport and the surrounding counties.

“The commitment of Ryanair to Shannon Airport is great news for both the airport and the surrounding counties, including Clare. Today I attended a press conference in Shannon Airport to mark Ryanair carrying their 13th million passenger through the airport. I had a meeting with Michael O’Leary and Minister Michael Noonan and it was great to hear the importance placed by Ryanair on Shannon Airport.

“Mr O’Leary said that Ryanair are proud to be associated with Shannon and he commended the Government for its foresight when it abolished the travel tax. Ryanair added 10 new routes to Shannon since the air travel tax was abolished and they will carry an additional 300,000 passengers through Shannon in the year to March 2015.

“Mr O’Leary said that the abolition of the travel tax was a brave decision by Michael Noonan, considering that it brought in over €30 million in revenue. The consequence of that decision however is that the additional VAT brought in by the extra flights amounts to €40 million, far exceeding any revenue lost. That’s even before the estimated additional tourism spend of €220 million is taken into account. All in, the decision to abolish the travel tax has been hugely beneficial for tourism in this country and has benefitted nearby counties like Clare.

“Shannon Airport is the fastest growing airport in Ireland and I was really pleased to hear Michael O’Leary say that there is huge potential for Shannon to continue to grow in 2015. Ryanair are currently preparing their new schedules and routes for the second half of 2015 and plan to make Shannon an integral part of their business. Their plans for Shannon will more than make up for the loss of passengers arising from the planned withdrawal of Stobart Air. There is no doubt that the future is bright for Shannon Airport and for tourism west of the Shannon.”