Shannon Group calls for Government and stakeholder support to ensure EU connectivity for the West of Ireland post Brexit

Airport looking for Government to establish a connectivity fund and for regional tourism targets to be set

Shannon, Tuesday 13 November 2018: Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Airport, is calling on Government to support it in safeguarding EU connectivity for the Mid-West and Western regions in a post Brexit environment.

Shannon Airport currently has UK hub connectivity through London Heathrow, which will continue to be hugely important connectivity going forward.  But in a Brexit situation, as the UK exits the European Union, the airport will then be without connectivity into an EU hub.

Commenting on the issue, Matthew Thomas, CEO, Shannon Group said: “European hub connectivity is vital for our tourism and business customers in the Mid-West, and Western regions. It provides the air access needed to grow tourism numbers, to conduct business and attract FDI investment from Europe and is now more important than ever in the context of Brexit.

“While European connectivity is currently serviced through the London Heathrow hub, the reality is that in a post Brexit situation, the West of Ireland will be without this critical EU connectivity.

“We are engaging with Government on specific asks for a connectivity funding programme to secure strategic routes. In addition, we believe that targets should be set for the national tourism agencies to grow visitor numbers into the regions.  Government’s Ireland 2040 plan rightly highlights the importance of ‘high quality international connectivity’.  We are looking for the mechanism to be put in place to ensure connectivity to a key European hub is in place for the West of Ireland.

“In light of the challenges Ireland would face from Brexit, particularly a hard-Brexit, it is of paramount importance that we safeguard our European connectivity. The Government’s Project Ireland 2040 recognises the fact that strong regions are the bedrock of a strong national economy.  We believe that a strategic route development fund and regional tourism targets are essential and we would welcome Government’s and stakeholder support to see these asks implemented,” Mr Thomas concluded.