Knock Airport records highest ever passenger numbers

Knock Airport records highest ever passenger numbers

Ireland West Airport, commonly known as Knock Airport, has recorded its highest ever passenger numbers in 2017, writes Cillian Sherlock.

750,000 passengers passed through the airport for the first time in history.

The figure comes as 2% increase on 2016, which was also a record number of 734,000 passengers.

The airport serves 23 international destinations through routes offered by Aer Lingus, Flybe and Ryanair.

This includes nine airports across the UK.

An extra 18,000 passengers travelled to and from the UK last year, which represented a 3% increase on 2016 numbers.

Aer Lingus recorded the highest number of passengers using their London Gatwick service since the route started in 2009, the airport said.

Services to Continental and Mainland Europe continued to perform strongly with over 100,000 passengers availing of flights to a range of European destinations such as Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga, Lanzarote, Milan, Tenerife and the Costa Dorada service with TUI Holidays.

Last year, the airport commenced work on its €15m facilities plan.

The three-year investment strategy will see new passenger facilities, terminal upgrades and infrastructural works on the facility and runway.

The airport aims to have spent almost €4m by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Managing Director Joe Gilmore said the figures are "good news" for the regional economy, tourism and job creation.

He also thanked customers, airline and tour operators, stakeholders, tourism groups, local authorities and Government representatives for their support.

"I would also like to say a special word of thanks to the staff at the airport for their hard work and continued focus on ensuring the customer and passenger experience through the airport is both a safe and welcoming one in light of some very challenging weather conditions particularly over the past couple of months," he added.

This week, TUI Holidays announced a new service to Palma Majorca which will commence in June 2018.

In addition, Flybe announced an extra 16,000 seats on their services to Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has increased capacity on their Milan service by 35%, adding an additional 3,500 seats for summer 2018.

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