News Archive

2006 - Another Dynamic Year for 20 Year Old Ireland West Airport Knock

Continuing its double digit growth each year since 2002, Ireland West Airport Knock is predicting that, by the year end, it will have grown annual passenger numbers by a further 18% to an estimated 625,000 - up from 530,000 in 2005. The growth stems from a 16% increase in passengers on its UK scheduled routes as well as a 27% growth in European holiday charter routes which now number 70,000 passengers annually. August was the busiest month ever in the history of the Airport with over 82,000 passengers having passed through its doors.

The continued growth is also attributed to the widening catchment area which the Airport is drawing its customer base from. The Airport’s success in gaining market share in Ireland is linked to the fact that more and more people from the regions are choosing the comfort, convenience and value for money offering of Ireland West Airport Knock over other more congested, difficult to access and high cost airports.

Turning Tides – An airport serving Irish Emigrants and Ethnic Immigrants

As usual over the Christmas period, Ireland West Airport Knock has preparations made to welcome the many friends and relatives of people in the West and North West of Ireland who will be returning home from the primary Irish strongholds of London and the South East; Birmingham and the Midlands region; and Manchester, the North West and Yorkshire. Indeed Irish ex-Pats from further a field in Europe and the US will also be connecting through these UK airports to get home. The Airport expects to handle some 35,000 passengers in December with 600 passengers coming through each peak hour in the Christmas rush.

Demonstrating how times have changed since the Airport first opened twenty years ago in 1986, the Airport also expects that ethnic migrant workers in the region from Eastern European states, including Poland, will be using the Airport to get flight connections back to their respective homelands. Equally, following a new trend which sees more and more Irish residents choosing to holiday abroad for the festive season in either sun or ski destinations, the Airport will see an increased number of customers flying off on its new winter charter routes to sunny Lanzarote and to the snowy Austrian Alps.
Looking forward to 2007, the Airport remains confident that it will secure additional flight services to London and the UK and that there will be a continued focus on developing European and US routes. Ryanair will commence a new Nottingham East Midlands scheduled route on 27th February 2007 which will bring in an estimated 60,000 passengers. New charter routes being planned include Las Palmas (Canaries) and Bulgaria and increased flights to Crete, Cyprus and Split in Croatia.

2006 saw many developments and achievements at Ireland West Knock including its winning, for the second time, the Best Regional Airport Award from Chambers Ireland’s Air Transport Users Council (ATUC). In May 2006, it hosted a key celebratory event attended by people and politicians from all walks of life to mark the occasion of the Airport’s 20th anniversary. Other developments included the re-modeling of the Airport’s check-in, departures, arrivals and passenger drop off areas; the roll out of the new Airport re-branding project; enhancements to the Airport’s Travel shop, Bar and Restaurant; the upgrading of its fire fighting capabilities; the building of a new bus terminus facility and the addition of 500 new car parking spaces.

Significant work also went into advancing plans to implement a major €45.9 million investment programme at the Airport. These plans are ready to commence now pending approval by the government to release funds following the EU’s approval of a €65million regional airport funding scheme last September. It is critical that airport proceeds with these capital projects now if it is to meet the growing demand on its services and planned flights for next year. The most immediate projects include extending the aircraft apron/ramp area, upgrading of the Airport’s safety, security and Instrument Landing System (ILS), and the development of the Airport Terminal building.

2007 will see also see a major drive to develop a new 65 acre business park on the site. The Park will facilitate knowledge-based industries and high technology manufacturing and internationally traded services companies. The design specification on the park is currently being drafted with the aim that the Park will be actively marketed by the end of the second quarter next year.

The Airport wishes to thank sincerely all of its staff, customers and airlines for their business in 2006 and wishes them a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. For 2007, we advise customers to watch this space for some more exciting new developments to come!