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London most important link for Shannon

MORE than one-third of Shannon’s passengers last year were people going to or coming from London.

New figures from the CSO show that Heathrow was Shannon’s busiest route in 2018, with 276,236 travelling to and from what is one of the world’s greatest hub airports. Another 203,000 travelled to and from Stansted and another 117,326 to and from Gatwick. That adds up to 596,562 travelling between Shannon and London.

Overall, Shannon had 1,677,661 passengers over the course of 2018, meaning 35.5% of the passengers were going to and from London. With another 85,000 travelling to and from Manchester, it is very clear that a relatively good outcome for Brexit is very important for Shannon.

While the CSO figures for Shannon are somewhat different from others released earlier this year, this is because these statistics do not include passengers on transit flights.

The busiest transatlantic route was New York, with more than 118,000 travelling to and from JFK.

January and February 2018 were by far the quietest months of 2018 at Shannon, with 86,313 using the airport in the first month of the year and just 83,898 the following month. July and August were the two busiest months, with 198,527 passengers in July and 197,110 in August.

In terms of air freight, Shannon was the second-busiest airport in the country, with 13,592 tonnes, or 8.6% of the total amount in Ireland.

The CSO figures this week also show that Dublin Airport’s dominance of Irish aviation only continued to expand during 2018. Dublin’s passenger numbers went up from 29,454,474 in 2017 to 31,319,419 in 2018, a growth of 6.3%. This meant that the numbers travelling through the capital increased by more than the entire number of passengers who used Shannon last year.

Looking at passenger numbers from 2014 and 2018 presents a relatively bleak picture, not alone for Shannon but for
Cork also.

In 2014, Dublin took a huge 81.9% of all passenger numbers. However, last year, the figures were even worse, with the capital having gone up to 85.6%. Back in 2014, Shannon had 5.9% and Cork 8.1% but last year the figures were 4.6% and 6.5% respectively.

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.

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