Ryanair commitment to boost traffic will increase passenger numbers and create jobs at Shannon – Breen

October 16th, 2013 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, Pat Breen, has today (Wednesday) warmly welcomed the commitment by Ryanair to increase passenger numbers at Irish airports by more than one million per year from next April. The move is a direct response to the Government’s decision to scrap the airline tax, as announced in yesterday’s Budget.

“It is very positive that Ryanair has reacted so quickly to the Government’s decision to scrap the air travel tax by promising to increase traffic at Irish airports by more than one million passengers per year. The low cost airline estimates that this could result in an extra 1,000 jobs at Irish airports in the year ahead.

“Shannon Airport stands to benefit significantly from this increased traffic. It’s estimated that up to 350,000 extra passengers could travel into Shannon as a result of Ryanair’s commitment, which would provide a massive boost for the Shannon region. Coming at a time when Shannon has regained control of its own affairs, this is a very positive announcement.

“Talks will be held in Dublin in the coming days to determine how Ryanair will direct this extra traffic, and I am confident that the Shannon Airport Board will be able to secure a significant slice of the cake. Coupled with the fact that new transatlantic routes have been launched at Shannon in recent months, this will provide a huge boost to tourism interests in the region.

“The Government fully recognises the important role tourism plays in Ireland’s economy. That is why the decision was taken to maintain the 9% VAT rate for tourism services, and to scrap the air travel tax, which is already paying dividends. Tourism figures have increased by 4.2% over the last year alone, and we are on track to hit our target for 325,000 extra visitors during the year of the Gathering.

“I want to ensure that the Shannon region benefits as much as possible for these initiatives. I look forward to the discussions with Ryanair and the subsequent announcement on new routes to and from Shannon Airport.”