Shannon Airport has recorded a 15 per cent increase in terminal passenger numbers over the first time months of the year – thanks, in part, to 16 service enhancements, including nine new Ryanair routes.
A breakdown of figures revealed at a joint Shannon Airport/Ryanair Travel Clinic in Bunratty to promote the airline’s winter schedule, complete with five additional services on last year’s schedule, shows that passenger numbers on European routes have enjoyed a 54% uplift in the year to date.
The bulk of the increase has been driven by the nine new services – to Munich, Paris, Faro, Warsaw, Krakow, Nice, Poitiers, Berlin and Fuerteventura – launched by Ryanair in April.
Overall, passenger numbers through the Shannon terminal in the first six months of the year were 653,894, up from 568,133 in the same period last year.
The increase, which is timely in the context of the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way driving route this year, has not just been confined to Europe, with UK passengers showing a return to growth after some challenging years with a 5% increase and transatlantic up by 11%.
“We are really happy with the passenger numbers so far this year.
We worked hard with our airline partners to secure the new services and there has been a really positive response from the public,” said Shannon Airport Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Murphy.
“We have made huge strides this year in meeting the demand for services to and from Shannon with the nine new routes for the summer season. We are also looking at a better upcoming winter season thanks to the five additional services that Ryanair have announced.
“The significant increases in services are very timely this year with the launch of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Shannon is the only airport on the route with services from all three key markets, the US, UK and Europe. If Shannon is going well, it bodes well for the route,” he added.
Ryanair’s Head of Sales & Marketing, Peter Bellew, said the company was delighted to celebrate record growth at Shannon Airport with 18 routes which will deliver 750,000 customers for 2014.
“Ryanair’s nine new summer routes to and from Berlin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Memmingen, Nice, Paris Beauvais, Poitiers and Warsaw Modlin, and five new winter routes to and from Berlin, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Paris Beauvais & Warsaw, will deliver over 300,000 additional passengers at Shannon Airport,” he concluded.
More than one third of adults have no pension
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.
The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.
Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.
Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).
Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.
Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.
“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.
Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.
“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.
Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers
Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.
President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.
“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.
“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.
“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.
“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”
Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.
“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”
Galway call-out with entries now open for Guaranteed Irish Business Awards
Guaranteed Irish has announced the launch of the 2023 Guaranteed Irish Business Awards, celebrating the best of locally based businesses in recognition of their contribution to business in the country.
The Awards – back after their inaugural year – aim to put the spotlight on local businesses that have made a commitment to support local jobs and contribute to local communities across the country.
The event, which will be MCed by broadcaster Anton Savage, will take place at an awards luncheon in The Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, March 14 2023.
“Guaranteed Irish has been supporting businesses in Ireland for almost 50 years and is recognised as the national symbol for trust in business and provenance,” explained Brid O’Connell, CEO of Guaranteed Irish.
“It’s important to celebrate the best of homegrown businesses as well as firms that have chosen to operate locally here in Ireland. Through the Guaranteed Irish licensed symbol, consumers identify businesses that build local supply chains, support local jobs, and embrace sustainable business practices.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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