RYANAIR have this morning announced that they will run services from Shannon to Naples and Porto in next year’s summer season.
Speaking to the Clare Champion this morning the airline’s head of communications Jade Kirwan said, “We announced our summer schedule last month and there were two new routes, to Beziers and Newcastle. We’re announcing two more routes now, to Naples and Porto.
“Naples would give you access to Pompeii and to the Amalfi coast, it’s a real good access point for travelling around and getting the most out of Italy. Porto then, in the north of Portugal, people go and stay there, it’s a cultural city, there’s lovely architecture, cathedrals, those kind of things. It’s a bit more chilled.”
She said it is another vote of confidence in Shannon Airport. “In terms of route capacity we are going from 22 this summer to 26 this year. But when you look at capacity and the number of flights and stuff it’s actually 35% growth on last summer.
“The fact that we’re increasing that much again is very significant. We’ve based a third aircraft at Shannon to facilitate some of the capacity and growth, and we will have about 180 flights each week. It’s going to be a busy, busy summer. ”
Ryanair will weather any economic slowdown comfortably, she feels.
“For us, we’re in a strange position compared to other businesses. People start watching the pennies a bit more, becoming a bit more price sensitive. A bit like people going to Lidl and Aldi, people say they’re not going to spend extra but still get what they want and being the lowest cost provider that suits our business model entirely.”
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.