Shannon Airport – A Ghost Town – Breen. 

April 8th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said today (Thursday) that Shannon Airport has been deserted with only 10 Ryanair short haul flights due to land at the Mid-West Airport today. He is calling on the Government to organise an immediate round table meeting to bring together all the relevant stakeholders in the Region with the aim of “securing alternative airlines and markets to help reverse the Airports fortunes.”

“This is no April Fool’s Day Joke. Two thirds of the Airports Short Haul Routes have disappeared off the Radar at Shannon Airport today, with only 5 Ryanair flights landing at the Mid West Airport. Compare that to Dublin Airport where 5 Ryanair Aircraft will arrive on the tarmac within 45 minutes, this afternoon alone (From 15.05 to 15.45 hrs). Passengers travelling through Shannon today have described the Airport as a Ghost Town.”

“When an Airport is beholden to one airline, a policy which was supported by this Government, unfortunately, there was an inevitability about today’s doomsday scenario, Sadly, though it is the people in the Region and those living and working abroad who will now pay the price for this, in additional costs travelling longer hours to alternative Airports in order to access this Region.”

“The latest CSO Overseas Travel figures released today confirm the serious challenge facing the tourism sector, with 110,400 less people visiting Ireland in January last. There are now huge challenges facing the Tourism Industry, the consolidation and merging of Airlines will see traffic converge on Capital cities right across Europe together with the likelihood that there will be a further drop off in visitors from the UK as UK residents continue to favour non Euro Sun Destinations including the US, as a result of the euro exchange rate.”

“The Government must call an immediate round table meeting, bringing all of the stakeholders in the Region together. The Shannon Airport Authority, Shannon Development, The Hotels and Bed and Breakfast owners, Tour Operators, the Car Hire companies, Taxi Drivers and those agencies charged with tourism promotion i.e. Tourism Ireland.”

“Alternative carriers must be secured to operate the short haul destinations which have been abandoned by Ryanair, otherwise, Shannon Airport and this Region will be doomed.”