And ease of access, ahead even of low fares, has emerged as the reason for Shannon’s dramatic growth in passenger numbers over the past three years, according to a survey of about 6,000 passengers.
With traffic growth having increased by 50% at the airport since 2005 — reaching a record 3.1 million international passengers in 2007 — research has shown that more and more passengers are favouring Shannon as their gateway airport because of ease of access and convenience.
The survey carried out by Shannon Airport’s marketing team for a campaign launched at the weekend — which will include rebranding for signage, advertising, printed literature and online media — has shown that 80% of passengers chose the airport for its ease of access and convenience.
Just 10% chose the airport because of low fares.
Significant road improvements in the mid-west are set to increase Shannon’s catchment area from 600,000 to more than 1 million people within the next two years.
This potential customer base will be within 90 minutes’ drive from the airport.
Marketing manager Declan Power said: “We obviously are aware of Shannon’s attractiveness for travellers because of its accessibility but we were surprised that as many as 80% of those surveyed said they used the airport because of this.
“Shannon has been associated with low fares for some time but it appears that accessibility is more influential and attractive.”
With accessibility to the airport to improve dramatically over the coming years due to infrastructure investment in the area, Shannon will offer a better take-off point for more people.
He said: “Our strong point is going to get even stronger. The new brand image we have launched signals this new approach for Shannon. The new symbol is an energetic “S” that embodies a sense of movement and opportunity and the strategy of the airport to continually move forward and adapt to its challenges and opportunities.”
Passengers surveyed were predominantly from Shannon’s main catchment area — Clare, Galway, Limerick and Tipperary — as well as Cork, Laois, Mayo and Roscommon.