PASSENGER NUMBERS at Shannon Airport increased by 8% last year, but remain 78% below 2019 figures.
Shannon Airport passenger numbers increased by 8% in 2021 compared to 2020, with most travel taking place in the latter part of the year following the roll out of the vaccination program and the introduction of the EU Digital Covid Cert allowing the lifting of restrictions on non-essential products. air travel from mid-July last year.
Almost 380,000 people used Shannon Airport in 2021, compared to just over 352,000 in 2020. This figure is however still down 78% from 2019, the last full year of operation before the pandemic .
European and UK services at Shannon took a step in the right direction in 2021. European passenger numbers from Shannon returned to 65% of 2019 levels and the UK market to 43% of 2019 levels. Both markets saw passenger numbers quintuple between August and November 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine said 2021 was “another tough year” but remains optimistic about the future. “While it will still take time for the unwinding of Covid restrictions to trickle down to the aviation sector, this is a truly positive development for industries devastated by the pandemic.”
She highlighted: “This summer we will operate services to 25 destinations with 107 scheduled weekly frequencies. The return of transatlantic services to Boston, New York (JFK) and Newark from Shannon in March, combined with our strong summer flight schedule in Europe and the return to full strength of our Heathrow services, are reasons for be optimistic”.
Progress was made last year on the transfer of Shannon Group heritage sites to the relevant local authorities. She said the transfer of these activities will help the Shannon Group to focus on reviving the airport, rebuilding international passengers, while continuing to develop its aeronautical cluster and associated property activities.
Visitation to heritage sites continued to be impacted by the pandemic, recording a drop of nearly 50% since 2019 when the sites had 963,000 visitors. However, there was some recovery in 2021 with almost 496,000 registered visitors, compared to just over 300,000 registered visitors in 2020.
The Group’s real estate development activities on the Shannon campus remained strong in 2021.