O’Leary no fool as Ryanair announces more routes from Shannon

In Shannon on Monday morning Editor of The Clare People Emmet Moloney presented Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary with a framed copy of the April Fool front page the newspaper ran, in conjunction with Ryanair, earlier this year.

RYANAIR will add more routes from Shannon in 2015 with Copenhagen and Bratislava two of the likely destinations, according to airline boss Michael O’Leary.
The Ryanair CEO was speaking at a press conference in the airport on Monday morning where he explained that the addition of new routes was probable in September of 2015, when the airline expect to take delivery of new planes, allowing for increased capacity.
The airline plan to open new bases in Copenhagen and Bratislava in the coming months increasing the possibility that they will be added to the already nineteen destinations served by the airline from Shannon.
Ryanair will fly over 300,000 extra passengers from Shannon in 2014, a direct result of the Government scrapping the travel tax, the CEO told reporters in Shannon.
While at the airport Mr O’Leary also took possession of a framed copy of The Clare People’s April Fool front page from earlier this year, one the airline boss admitted he got a great kick out of.
“I must say I had a great laugh at the front page, it was an excellent April Fool, we got queries about it from all over the world,” he said.
Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey and Chairperson Rose Hynes were on hand to congratulate O’Leary on the airline’s 13th million passenger through the airport on Monday morning. The Ryanair chief marked the milestone moment by presenting the 13th millionth passenger with a Ryanair family flight. 
The passenger, Piotr Rachuta, was travelling back to Poland on the Shannon-Wroclaw flight with his wife Marta and 4year old daughter Amelia following a holiday with relatives in Tralee.
They were taken by surprise as the Ryanair CEO grabbed the tannoy microphone and called out his name as the lucky 13th million passenger.
“I didn’t expect this today when I came to Shannon Airport for sure. I am very surprised and very happy,” a beaming Mr Rachuta said.
Mr O’Leary raised a big cheer also as he announced his own version of ‘one for everybody in the audience’ as he gave away a free flight to all passengers queueing on for the 10:05am Wroclaw flight.
The airport also weighed in with the early Christmas presents by gifting the winners Shannon Duty Free shopping vouchers and executive Lounge passes as well as a Shannon Duty Free hamper for all on the packed flight.
 Afterwards, at a press conference attended by Mr O’Leary and local politicians including Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, to mark the milestone passenger achievement, Airport Chairman Rose Hynes said that the airline’s contribution to the region over the years has been immeasurable. 
“If someone had told us when Ryanair started operating here first that they would have 19 destinations and deliver their 13th millionth passenger this year, you would hardly have believed it possible.
 “They have significantly reduced the cost of air travel for everyone and given us connectivity to locations that we otherwise would not have.  That has been hugely important for this region, both from an outbound and inbound passenger perspective.”
Airport CEO Neil Pakey said that the current Ryanair mix at Shannon is a healthy balance for both holiday and business in and out of the region. 
“Ryanair, which is playing a major role in the newly independent Shannon’s growth, put on 10 new routes this year and that is going to translate into 167% growth in European passenger numbers through Shannon. 
“They have really satisfied the demand for holidays, short breaks or even business travel out of this region.
“But the introduction of services from France and Germany, in particular, this year has also been hugely beneficial from an inbound tourism perspective and generated a lot of much appreciated revenue for the local economy,” he said.


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