Shannon Airport is expected to benefit from Ryanair’s announcement that it plans to grow its traffic at its Irish airports by at least 1m passengers annually from April 2014.
The airline says the move is a direct response to the Government’s announcement in yesterday’s budget that the €3 travel tax (which applies only to air passengers) will be scrapped in April 2014.
Ryanair highlighted that since the travel tax was introduced in January 2009, traffic at the main Irish airports had declined from 30.5m passengers in 2008 to 23.5m in 2012.
Ryanair said it believes that much of this traffic can now be recovered thanks to the abolition of the travel tax, which makes Ireland a more competitive and attractive destination for inbound visitors, particularly those on short flights from the UK and Continental Europe.
Ryanair invited all the main Irish airports – Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Knock and Kerry – to meetings in Dublin on Thursday and Friday of this week to finalise these growth plans and how it can be split between the airports.
Ryanair expects that this traffic growth will be focused on a range of new routes and additional frequencies on existing routes, although the list of routes and frequencies and the share of traffic growth will be finalised in talks with the Irish airports over the coming days.
Media reports earlier today suggested that that Ryanair are set to announce 300,000 extra seats for Shannon. However, the airline refused to comment on the speculation.