Shannon Chamber Webinar to zone in on future for Aviation against background of new and potential future variants

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the global trade association of airlines. Its 290 members comprise 83% of total air traffic. In a recent press statement, the organisation’s Director General Willie Walsh said that the emergence of the Omicron variant and the restrictions put in place by governments led to a sharp drop in international ticket sales in December and early January compared to 2019, suggesting a more difficult first quarter in 2022 than had been expected.

However, according to IATA, while European carriers’ November international traffic declined 43.7% versus November 2019, it was much improved compared to the 49.4% decrease in October versus the same month in 2019.

So, what lies ahead? That’s the question Shannon Chamber will be asking the keynote speaker at its first webinar of 2022, which takes place on Tuesday 18 January from 12noon until 1pm.

Just as in early 2021, when the Chamber opened its annual calendar of events by inviting the Director General of EUROCONTROL, Eamonn Brennan, to give an overview of COVID-19’s impact on the global aviation value chain, Chamber CEO Helen Downes, will, in conjunction with chamber members, be asking Simon McNamara, IATA’s Country Manager for the United Kingdom & Ireland to present his views on the path ahead for aviation.

Ms Downes is looking forward to this event as she says that last year’s meeting with Eamonn Brennan and the recovery forecasts he presented for the sector, led to Shannon Chamber and the Irish Hotels Federation, in conjunction with Ennis, Limerick and Galway Chambers, preparing and presenting a Traffic Recovery Support Scheme (TRSS) to Government.

“Once again, we find ourselves in very strange times, particularly since the onset of the Omicron variant. Travellers had just got used to the new normal and were returning to the skies; however, unexpected occurrences such as new variants that spread so rapidly unsettle people and they lose their confidence in travelling,” said Ms Downes.

“IATA has its fingers on the pulse, and we look forward to hearing Simon McNamara present his organisation’s views on the impact of and requirement for travel restrictions and how we might need to adapt to and live with the virus, while adhering to strict protocols. It promises to be another thought-provoking webinar with plenty of food for thought and actions for us as a Chamber to consider.”

The webinar is being supported by Shannon-based maintenance, repair and overhaul provider, Atlantic Aviation Group, whose chief executive Shane O’Neill will also speak at the event.

The webinar is free of charge to attend. Bookings can be made via