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Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group.

Airport can’t head off high air fares, councillors told


VERY high levels of demand are behind the high prices currently being charged for certain flights from Shannon Airport, its CEO Mary Considine told Clare county councillors.

Independent councillor Michael Begley and Fianna Fáil’s Pat Hayes both questioned prices currently being charged, and in response Ms Considine said that with strong sales, airlines are charging more for the few remaining seats on flights.

“We have 27 routes now if you include Paris, available from Shannon, at the moment the load factors are very high for the summer season. That is driving up price, that is the quandary.
“If you have a flight with 95% load factor already, only 5% seat capacity available, the airline will manage their own yield and you’ll pay more for that.”

She said that airlines rather than the airport set the prices.

“Unfortunately that’s outside our control, that’s not washing our hands of it, the reality is that we are very competitive as an airport, we have put really attractive incentive schemes in place and we have offered marketing support to our airlines.

“That’s how we were able to secure the return of our main carriers into Shannon this year, we were able to secure the return of those services very early on ahead of other airports because we had actually done the deals with the airlines.

“At the end of the day they have a smaller base at Shannon, where they have their larger bases they have more economies of scale and that drives down price.”
However, she said high prices are actually an indication that a route is performing very well and that the service will continue at Shannon.

“I know that’s not what you want to hear as a consumer, but that’s the reality, that route is working very well for them, they’re getting the yield on the route.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.