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Shannon Group, CEO Matthew Thomas

€200,000 for Shannon Group Chief Executive

SHANNON Group chief executive Matthew Thomas received a basic salary of €175,000 in 2018, along with other taxable benefits of €24,596.

Mr Thomas also received pension contributions of €43,750, giving a total sum of €243,346. There were also business expenses of €13,448.

He is due to leave Shannon Group next month and in the final annual report he will be involved with, Mr Thomas wrote, “2018 has been a positive year for Shannon Group. We have seen more passengers using our airport, more visitors enjoying our heritage tourist attraction and our property portfolio attracting more businesses to the region.”

Regarding the performance of the airport, he said, “In 2018, Shannon Airport enjoyed its best year this decade, welcoming over 1.86 million passengers, a 6.5% increase in passenger numbers year on year. The UK and transatlantic markets were our best performers last year, both up 7%. During the year, there were 25,556 take-offs and landings from the airports’s newly-resurfaced runway, the longest runway in Ireland.

“With approximately 40% of Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland within Shannon’s catchment area, this connectivity supports our business community and makes our region much more attractive for future Foreign Direct Investment.”

Mr Thomas said the comparative ease of using Shannon Airport is something that will be stressed in its promotion. “Following extensive market research in 2018, we are committed to providing the best airport experience in Ireland. Our brand promise, Shannon Airport Making It Easy, is now at the heart of everything we do. It is a key competitive advantage and offers us a huge opportunity.

“We have put even greater focus on making it easy for our customers at every step of their journey through Shannon Airport. We have invested in new time-saving technology to reduce US pre-clearance security screening time and launched a new Customer Charter to deliver an experience that is uniquely Shannon Airport every step of the way.”

He said there are plenty of plans for development coming. “Since its formation, Shannon Group has invested significantly in a range of capital projects. In 2018 alone, we invested over €21 million in a range of initiatives across the group.

“The group is now moving on to the next phase of its journey, with exciting plans across all its businesses. Shannon Commercial Properties is laying the foundations for the next phase of the regeneration of Shannon Free Zone.

“This will deliver further high-quality advanced manufacturing, warehousing and office space solutions. For example,
work will commence in 2019 on the development of 155,000 square feet of much-needed warehousing.

“The group will build a new wide body paint hangar at Shannon Airport, its largest construction project to date. This will be the first new wide body hangar to be constructed at an Irish airport in over 20 years and will further enhance the global reputation of Shannon as a centre of excellence for aviation.”

About Owen Ryan

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.