A former Clare TD is calling on the Government to step up its game in relation to Shannon Airport, in a bid to boost traffic there.
Michael McNamara’s comments come after fresh CSO figures showed that Shannon’s passenger numbers dropped by 3.3% in the first half of this year, a time of growth in Dublin and Cork.
In the first half of this year, traffic at Dublin Airport increased by 5.8%.
In Cork, traffic levels jumped by 9.9%.
There was growth, too, at Knock and Kerry but at Shannon the CSO figures highlight a 3.3% fall, year on year.
That’s a drop of 25,000 passengers, although this year’s traffic is ahead of levels recorded in 2017.
Nonetheless, concern remains that Shannon Airport is lagging behind, and that the wider region is losing out as a result.
In response to these statistics, former Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara has said it’s “very worrying” that Shannon’s overall share of the Irish market is falling.
He thinks it’s performance raises questions of officials at Shannon, and also of the government too.
The Airport has previously stated that the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 Max Aircraft has had a severe impact on passenger numbers, but Michael McNamara argues that this is hitting Cork and Dublin too.
The former TD is calling on the government to prioritise Shannon with a co-ordinated, multi-agency marketing campaign, as well as changes in government policy, including a switch of transit traffic to Shannon and away from Dublin.
However, he seems to have little confidence that this will be delivered, and is scathing of the Transport Minister’s performance to date.
The Acting CEO of Shannon Group has been speaking with Clare FM’s Fiona Cahill on the Lunchtime News Programme.
Mary Considine called on all stakeholders in the region to row in behind the airport, and support its ask of government for targetted funding to develop vital connectivity for the region.