ADDRESSING the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, Padraig Ó Céidigh again set out his target for having Shannon back on a pre-pandemic footing by 2024.
Mr Ó Céidigh, who is about to take up the position of non executive chair of Shannon Group, said, “The recovery of the aviation sector to pre-pandemic levels is likely to take many years, and it is certain that airports such as Shannon will face much increased competition for new routes during this time.
“However, I have set an ambitious target to recover Shannon’s air traffic to 2019 levels by 2024.”
He said that achieving this goal is very important for the region.
“At the core of the Group is Shannon Airport, which provides essential air connectivity that supports businesses and the livelihoods of thousands of people in the west of Ireland.
“Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, 1.7 million passengers travelled through Shannon Airport. It is important to remember that in early 2020, Shannon Airport was set for a year of growth, with new routes and having secured locally-based aircraft.
He said that the revitalisation of the airport is important not only for the staff who work there, but for the people of the region who rely on Shannon’s air connectivity.
“It is a vital economic engine for the Shannon Region and the wider west of Ireland economy,” he told the committee.
Mr Ó Céidigh also stressed the role that Shannon plays in local industry.
“The Group’s property activity comprises a portfolio of 3.1 million square feet of property, in addition to significant landbanks.
“With over 300 companies and growing, the Shannon Campus, incorporating the airport and Shannon Free Zone, is one of Ireland’s most prominent multi sectoral business parks.
“Since establishment, the Group has invested over €135 million across its campus, successfully delivering innovative and competitive property solutions to indigenous and foreign clients of all sizes in the Mid-West.
“The Campus hosts the largest cluster of aviation companies in Ireland. Supported by Shannon Group it has grown to over 80 companies today.
“Shannon is also home to Ireland’s first test bed for future mobility, with a focus on innovation and development in driverless/autonomous transport technology.”
Summing up, Mr Ó Céidigh said, “I am confident that the actions now being taken by management will further enhance Shannon Group’s performance and its contribution to all key stakeholders in the Mid West Region and beyond.
“As Chairperson, I am confident that with the right supports and hard work, Shannon will recover and build back stronger.”