Shannon Airport celebrates ‘Independence Day’
01 January 2013
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013: Shannon Airport is today celebrating the beginning of a new era for Ireland’s most historic airport as it officially became an independent entity overnight.
Separation officially took place at 11.59p.m. last night, with the first passengers to transit through the newly autonomous airport arriving on board the Aer Lingus EI-110 flight from JFK at 5.08 a.m. this morning.
The airport will commence operations on a solid footing by way of a debt free balance sheet and a business plan with an immediate focus on growing passenger numbers and route development.
The airport will also work towards the development of the International Aviation Services Centre at Shannon, which is targeting the creation of a significant number of primarily aviation related jobs within a three to five year period, building on the existing cluster of 40 aviation related companies in Shannon currently.
The second of a two-phase process for the new Shannon Airport entity will see the merging of the Airport by July 1 2013 with activities of a restructured Shannon Development, including its considerable land-bank and associated rent-roll.
Speaking today, newly appointed Shannon Airport Authority Chairman Rose Hynes said: “Today is ‘Independence Day’ for Shannon - this is a historic day for us. We finally have our long awaited freedom to determine our own future. Independence is the single most important enabler of future success for Shannon. This is an opportunity for the airport to commence a new chapter in its proud history.”
Also welcoming autonomy, Shannon Airport Director Mary Considine said: “We are setting out today to create a vibrant and sustainable future for this airport, its staff, customers and the wider region.
“Our attention will immediately focus on growing passenger numbers at Shannon. We have an excellent start thanks to significant announcements on transatlantic and European services over the past two months which will already result in an appreciable upswing in passenger numbers next year.”
The celebratory air at Shannon today saw arriving passengers served refreshments and commissioned cupcakes for the day carrying the theme for separation - ‘Just Think How Far We Can Go’. Also, to mark the official separation day, one lucky passenger, Dervilla Donohoe from Rosehill, Sligo, on board the first flight received tickets two return Aer Lingus tickets to the US from Shannon courtesy of the airline, plus complimentary car parking and access to the airport’s executive lounge.
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