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Tag Archives: business

Shannon airport

Redundancies sought at Shannon

DESPITE Shannon Airport’s much vaunted recovery, Shannon Group is about to seek redundancies from staff, with talks between management and unions set to begin next week. Shannon Group is a commercial semi state, with Shannon Airport as its core and also encompassing Shannon Commercial Enterprises (formerly Shannon Development)Shannon Castle Banquets and Heritage Limited (formerly Shannon Heritage) along with the International Aviation Services Centre. In a statement to the Clare Champion on Wednesday evening Shannon Group claimed that the redundancies are required to help its competitive position. “The necessity to address the cost base of the Shannon Group business units has been known for some time. In recent times it has been referenced in the Shannon task force report and subsequent annual reports. We are exploring options to address this including a voluntary severance scheme. This will make for a more sustainable business model going forward.” No details of what terms will be offered to staff looking to depart have been …

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BREAKING: US and Heathrow sweeteners for Shannon in IAG deal

WITH the Government this evening announcing the sale of the State’s stake in Aer Lingus, a Fine Gael source this evening told the Clare Champion that Shannon-US services will be enhanced as a result of the transaction. It is understood that British Airways (which is owned by IAG) will continue to use Shannon’s US  Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance facilities, and in the future it may actually pick up passengers at Shannon, effectively extending the range of US services from Shannon, something that would be welcomed by local business interests. While IAG CEO Willie Walsh had previously ruled out increasing a five year commitment to maintaining Shannon-Heathrow connectivity, this will be increased to seven years. It is understood the assurances have calmed at least some political nerves in Clare, but the issue is still set to provoke local and national debate in the coming days. The chairman of Shannon Group plc, Rose Hynes, has  welcomed the proposed IAG takeover of …

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Clare ‘doing business’ at Meitheal workshop

Over 500 Irish trade, including tourism businesses from Clare, recently attended Meitheal, Ireland’s largest travel trade fair, organised by Fáilte Ireland, in the RDS Dublin. This event is a central date in the tourism industry calendar, allowing the Irish tourism industry to actively grow its business in countries from around the world – with delegates from as far afield as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Meitheal provides a valuable opportunity to forge even stronger commercial relations between local tourism providers and the international travel trade. With interest in visiting Ireland growing, our appeal remains strong and we now offer better value than for many years. Thanking the Clare tourism trade for attending Meitheal, Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn commented, “Tourism is in robust health and we expect growth to continue this year. However, we are not complacent and the face to face meetings that took place with the Clare trade who attended Meitheal, …

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Walsh offers five-year Heathrow guarantee for Shannon

SHANNON and Cork can have guarantees of Heathrow connectivity for five years if IAG buys the State’s share in Aer Lingus, its CEO Willie Walsh pledged at today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. Clare political figures have expressed concern about the possibility of Shannon losing its vital connectivity to Heathrow in the event of a takeover, but Mr Walsh insisted that the guarantee he is offering is far better than what the airport actually has already. He also claimed that while the concern is at one level understandable, it is actually misplaced, given that the route is profitable. Indeed, he went so far as to say that the current Aer Lingus management could not match the IAG guarantee without drawing the ire of some of the shareholders. While he said IAG is happy to give the guarantees and that there is no reason to pull away from what is a profitable route, he stressed that he will not give …

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Dooley clashes with Shannon Airport strategy director

THE current Aer Lingus ownership structure gives no guarantees on the provision of Shannon-Heathrow services, group strategy director of Shannon Group, Patrick Edmond said at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communication. Various political interests have called for the State’s shareholding in Aer Lingus to be retained, claiming it ensures connectivity for the Clare airport. However, Mr Edmond said that is not the case, pointing out that in 2007, Aer Lingus management, under the same ownership structure as exists now, transferred all of the Heathrow slots serving Shannon to Belfast. While Clare TD Timmy Dooley challenged him, Mr Edmond stood firm on his observations. In his first contribution to the sitting, Mr Edmond said that if the Government does opt to dispose of its 25% holding, it should make sure it gets some guarantees around connectivity. “We would, therefore, expect that any Government decision to sell the State’s Aer Lingus stake to IAG would be conditional on an enforceable …

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No Shannon guarantee no deal, Minister hints

WHILE he didn’t go as far as saying that there is no prospect of a deal with IAG on Aer Lingus in the absence of guarantees for Shannon, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe stressed that connectivity for the Mid-West will be a very important consideration, when he spoke to The Clare Champion. “We’re looking at all of the consequences that the proposed bid could have for connectivity. I’m very much aware of how important connectivity is for the Shannon region and how important Shannon Airport is. I have said throughout all of this that national connectivity and the particular impact on our regions will be vital if a bid comes in,” he said. There have been claims that even if guarantees for Shannon and Cork are built into an eventual agreement between the State and IAG, they will have no real legal standing. Asked if there are any precedents where guarantees have been given on future connectivity, the minister declined to …

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Heathrow slots absolutely critical for region

Transport Minister, Paschal Donohoe declined to give assurances about the future of Shannon’s Heathrow slots, but he did say in the Dáil this week that maintaining Ireland’s connectivity is a priority. Asked about the prospects of an IAG takeover of Aer Lingus by Clare and Limerick TDs, the minister said, “Currently, no formal offer has been made to Aer Lingus shareholders. That said, I wish to make clear that should such an offer be made, we will take great care and exercise great caution in examining the pros and cons to Ireland of such an offer. “We will bear in mind the same issues we considered when faced with previous takeover bids. We will consider the impact any change in ownership of Aer Lingus would have on the connectivity of Ireland, which connectivity is vital to our economy and our society. We will consider the impact it would have on competition for passengers to and from Irish airports and we …

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Shannon airport

Shannon Airport turnaround accelerates

SHANNON Airport saw passenger numbers increase by 17% in 2014, as its recovery continues. The total number of passengers went from 1.4 million in 2013 to 1,639,315 in 2014. Such an increase is very welcome at an airport, whose survival was in doubt just two years ago. In 2012, Shannon had just 1.394 million passengers, the lowest number since 1988. After its separation from the Dublin Airport Authority, the numbers kept falling in the early months of 2013, before beginning to move in the right direction in the second half of the year, with the overall figure slightly ahead of 2012. In 2014 the recovery picked up momentum, with 10 new destinations and 16 service enhancements. Following a deal with Ryanair, most of the 2014 growth was on European routes, with nine new destinations delivering a 70% increase in passengers. While the new services included some sun destinations, there were also high numbers of inbound visitors following the return of …

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