The Christmas rush has begun at Shannon Airport, with the first wave of thousands of returning emigrants reunited with their families. Figures have yet to be released for this year, but in 2016 more than 70,000 passengers used the airport from the weekend before Christmas until New Year’s Day.
Figures last year were up 5pc, rising from 66,500 passengers in 2015. This week’s first arrivals were from early morning flights from Boston and New York. See the full album here or on Facebook here.
Matthew Thomas believes that next year’s National Planning Framework must focus on regional airports, arguing: “There are some excellent international examples of how this can be done, not least in Denmark where they have concluded that increasing connectivity in airports outside the capital would have a bigger economic impact than adding additional flights to the same destination in Copenhagen.”
But he said 2018 for the airport “will be about aggressively pursuing new route opportunities; working hard to become more efficient, which will enable us to be even more competitive; and working with our key stakeholders to develop an operating environment that strengthens airports in the regions and their respective regional economies.”