Ireland West Airport enjoyed a 14% increase in passenger numbers during the summer period with over 360,000 passengers using the airport between June and October. The airport is on track to record the busiest year in the airports 30 year history with annual passenger numbers set to exceed 720,000 for the first time in 2016.
Passenger numbers using the airports 9 UK services increased by 14% thanks mainly to new year round services added by Flybe to both Birmingham and Edinburgh, which added an additional 25,000 passengers through the airport during the summer months. The airport now has the biggest selection of UK services from the West and North West of Ireland with access to 9 UK markets including direct flights to Birmingham, Bristol, London (Gatwick, Luton & Stansted), East Midlands, Edinburgh, Liverpool and Manchester.
Services to and from European Sun and city break destinations continued to grow with the airport now offering flights to a choice of ten different destinations across Europe to the likes of Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Spain. A new service introduced by Falcon and Thomson Holidays to Salou in June proved particularly popular with holidaymakers from across the region.
The Airport now serves 22 International destinations and is served by three of Europe's major International airlines, Aer Lingus, Flybe and Ryanair.
This year has proven a particularly busy year for events at the airport as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the official opening of the airport back in May. Notable milestones this year also included the airport welcoming its 10 millionth passenger, holding our first ever runway run for the public and welcoming a very special visit from the Vice President of the United States. All these special events were filmed and form part of a six part series called ‘The Airport up in Knock’ currently being aired on UTV Ireland every Monday night at 8pm.
In addition in summer 2016 the airport welcomed an investment by seven Local Authorities for an equity shareholding into the airport which has seen the formation of a unique and positive collaboration with local government in the areas of tourism, economic development and Diaspora engagement.
Commenting on a busy summer season, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director Ireland West Airport, said “These latest passenger figures are a direct result of the growth in passenger services offering an increased selection of routes to and from the West of Ireland. This growth benefits the local economies in both the West and North West regions particularly given the choice and range of flights to the UK which is a key driver for inbound tourism."