Travel demand drives strong 2022 results for The Shannon Airport Group and “Prospects for 2023 look bright with passenger numbers expected to exceed 2019 levels” says The Shannon Airport Group CEO.
Strong Performance in 2022
Mary Considine, CEO of The Shannon Airport Group, cites the phenomenal demand for international travel for Shannon Airport’s strong performance in 2022. Passenger numbers last year were up 300% when compared to 2021, with passenger traffic for 2023 expected to exceed 2019 levels. Ms Considine’s comments come following the publication of The Shannon Airport Group’s 2022 annual report this week.
Strong Recovery in Passenger Numbers
“Passenger numbers at Shannon Airport in 2022 exceeded our expectations. The pent-up desire for international travel following the lifting of pandemic travel restrictions was reflected in an 88% recovery on 2019 passenger levels. We welcomed over 1.51 million passengers through our airport during 2022, which was a 300% increase on 2021 passenger numbers.
“The preparatory work we put in place during the pandemic greatly assisted us in our recovery. The introduction of our new, faster, airport security screening facility, the first state airport to do so, had a positive impact. Thanks to it we have seen an increase in people from all over the country using Shannon Airport, as they now realise how ‘easy’ it is,” said Ms Considine.
Commenting on the outlook for this year, Ms Considine said, “Prospects at Shannon look bright for 2023 and this year we will operate 35 routes to 11 countries. We are delighted to be giving our customers more destinations to choose from, in fact we will have more routes this year than we did in 2019, with six brand new destinations. These new services are to Naples, Beziers, Newcastle, Porto, Liverpool, while our transatlantic services will be enhanced with the addition of a daily nonstop seasonal service to Chicago starting in May. By the end of 2023, we expect traffic volumes to have surpassed 2019 levels.
“Visitor numbers to our Shannon Heritage sites also experienced a strong recovery in 2022 as a result of the resumption of international travel, with day visitor numbers back to over 80% of pre-pandemic levels. We are pleased that the transfer of Shannon Heritage to Clare County Council is underway. I would like to thank Shannon Heritage staff for their dedication and loyalty to the business over the years, and wish them and Clare County Council every success for the future. We look forward to maintaining our relationship with them as we grow vital air services that bring international visitors to these visitor sites and Ireland,” Ms Considine said.
Positive Financial Performance
The Shannon Airport Group’s improved performance across its business is reflected in its 2022 financial results with an increase of over 76% in Group turnover from continuing operations to €60.7 million compared to €34.5 million in 2021. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) for the Group increased to €16.5 million from €8.6 million in 2021.
Investment Strategy Yielding Dividends
The Group operates a significant property portfolio, much of which is centred around the Shannon Campus. The campus is home to one of Ireland’s largest multi-sectoral business parks which houses businesses from a range of sectors including aviation, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, MedTech, IoT software development, manufacturing, IT, and logistics.
“We continued to see the impact our investment programme across the Shannon Campus is having on Irish and overseas companies. Improved connectivity, the delivery of our property investment strategy across the Shannon Campus, and developments like Ryanair’s €10 million investment in their maintenance facility at Shannon, have all contributed to our recovery.
“In 2022, we invested over €21 million across our campus to improve our airport operation and provide property solutions for our business customers. Investment in the airport included commencement of our airbridge replacement programme and the upgrade and rehabilitation of our airfield.
“Coming on stream this year we have over 100,000 sq. ft of new commercial properties. A new 60,000 sq. ft multi-use industrial unit ideal for warehousing, manufacturing, or logistics, and which sits in the heart of our Shannon Campus is close to completion. We will bring a further 40,000 sq. ft manufacturing and office facility to the market later this year,” said Ms Considine.
In addition, the Group supported the delivery of Smart City infrastructure across the Shannon Campus by Future Mobility Campus Ireland (FMCI). It also completed the handover of a new building to FMCI for their full-scale development centre and test-bed for mobility technologies.
Sustainability was a key focus for the Group in 2022, this was reinforced by the publication of its new sustainability strategy. The strategy will enable the Group to play its part in delivering on the Government’s climate action plan.
“Working collaboratively with our stakeholders and providing support where we can, will continue to be a key focus for us, particularly in addressing the challenge to decarbonise. We are committed to creating a more sustainable future and last year we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ESB to explore the development of a hydrogen refuelling station on our Shannon Campus,” said Ms Considine.
Flying High for 2023
“Our people are essential to unlocking the full potential of the Group. They provide energy, enthusiasm and ingenuity that drives our success.
“Thank you to all our colleagues across The Shannon Airport Group, who supported the operation, and to our customers and stakeholders who continue to support our efforts. With our six new routes this year and a strong ramp-up in our investment strategy, we are looking forward to a bright 2023,” said Ms Considine.