Profits soar in record year for Knock Airport

Pre-tax profits at Ireland West Airport Knock last year increased more than fivefold to €642,788, in what was a record year for the airport.

Newly-filed accounts show that the airport’s revenues increased by 3% to €12.6m as passenger numbers rose by 7% or 48,000 to 733,869.

The passenger growth was fuelled by the start of new routes to Birmingham and Edinburgh by low fares carrier Flybe and the arrival of the airport’s first charter service from Boston with Aer Lingus.

A €7.3m investment by seven local authorities, in exchange for a 17.5% equity stake in the airport, was finalised last year and places a value of €41.7m on the airport. The airport continued to benefit from the development of the Wild Atlantic Way and the airport’s location at its centre. The airport now reaches 22 international destinations 16 of which are scheduled services.

Knock Airport last year celebrated its 30th anniversary and its directors said that the airport would have recorded a pre-tax loss of €324,977 but for the funding received from the Department of Transport.

The airport is forecasting close to 750,000 passengers for this year, which would be a 2% increase on 2016.

However, the airport’s owners remain cautious, saying: “Uncertainty remains in regards to Brexit, potential economic slowdown in our main markets, airline strategic actions and fuel prices. Despite these, the airport continues to see positive trends as improving load factors continued for the first quarter of 2017 and at this point, the airport is confident it will achieve the 2017 passenger forecast.”

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