#IrelandWestAirport

  • 2018 was the busiest year on record at Ireland West Airport with passenger numbers climbing to over 770,000 for the first time in the airports history, surpassing the previous record of 750,000 passengers achieved in 2017.

    771,619 passengers used the airport last year which represented an increase of 3% on 2017 numbers.

     The airport now serves 23 International destinations and is served by three of Europe’s major International airlines, Aer Lingus, Flybe and Ryanair.

     According to Donal Healy Head of Marketing with IWAK, despite the ongoing concerns over Brexit, the growth in passenger numbers in 2018 was fuelled by a very strong performance across the range of UK services available at the airport, with an extra 21,600 passengers travelling to and from the UK, which represented a 3% increase on 2017 numbers.

     Services to Continental and Mainland Europe continued to perform strongly with over 110,000 passengers availing of flights to a range of European destinations.

     2018 was a memorable year as the airport welcomed Pope Francis for a historic visit in August. A €15m investment programme aimed at transforming and modernizing the airport is underway.

    2019 is forecasted to be another record year boosted by the recent announcement of a new twice weekly service to Cologne with Ryanair, which will commence in June. In addition Ryanair will increase capacity by 33% on its twice weekly service to Barcelona which starts in April.

     In May of this year, rehabilitation of the airports 2,400 metre runway will get underway.

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    Management at Ireland West Airport Knock say they're delighted and honoured with yesterday's confirmation from the Vatican that Pope Francis will fly into and out of the airport as part of his visit to Knock Shrine in August.

    On Sunday 26th August, the Pope will fly into Knock Airport on a specially-chartered Aer Lingus flight from Dublin, and will travel by motorcade along the N17 to Knock village, returning to Dublin from Knock later that morning.

    It was after the first-ever Papal visit to Ireland in 1979, when Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine, that Monsignor Horan began his campaign to build an international airport in Mayo, and over 30 years after it opened, Knock is now the fourth-busiest airport in the country with up to 800,000 passengers expected to use the airport this year.

    Managing Director of Ireland West Airport Knock Joe Gilmore told Midwest News that it's a fitting tribute to Monsignor Horan's legacy that the airport will welcome Pope Francis in August.

    Meanwhile, people hoping to see the Pope in Knock on 26th August will have to apply online for tickets.

    45,000-50,000 tickets will be issued for the Knock event and 500,000 for the Pope's Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park, and tickets go on general release on 25th June.

    Patrons can register on www.worldmeeting2018.ie

      

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    With dense fog enveloping much of the West of Ireland allied to treacherous driving conditions, coming so soon after Storm Eleanor, it's safe to say 2018 has got off to a wintry start! We headed to Ireland West Airport Knock on Thursday evening to get an idea of the conditions there. This was the scene at 5pm!

     

     

  • Ireland West Airport has announced a new partnership with Connacht Rugby and Ireland Outhalf Jack Carty.

    It’s part of a strategic initiative aimed at strengthening the airport’s links with the community. 

    Jack Carty, a Roscommon native, currently plays for Connacht Rugby in the Pro14, having come through the team's academy. He is Connacht's record points scorer in the Pro14, after overtaking Ian Keatley in March this year.

    He has represented Ireland at various under-age levels internationally. Most recently he won the 2019 Zurich Players' Player of the Year Award.

    Jack was named in the senior Irish squad for the opening rounds of the 2019 Six Nations and made his debut in February of this year.

    An accomplished sportsman, The Connacht man represented Roscommon at minor level as well as lining out for the Republic of Ireland soccer team at underage levels up until he was 15.

     Working with locally produced sports stars is part of a new strategic initiative by the airport aimed at strengthening the airport’s links with the community. 

    As part of the new partnership Jack will work with the airport on the development of new campaigns.

    Commenting on today’s announcement, Donal Healy, Head of Marketing, Ireland West Airport said ‘As an airport for the people of the region, it’s one of our core values to ‘support local’ and being a proud Connacht man, born and bred, Jack epitomises this. The airport is looking forward to working with Jack on a number of exciting new campaigns in the coming months supporting local initiatives and hopefully we will have the opportunity to cheer him on in the Rugby World Cup in Japan next September’.

    Jack Carty said he is delighted to team up with Ireland West Airport. As a local person from Roscommon one of my favourite career memories to date was on that famous night in 2016 when we arrived back into our local airport after being crowned PRO12 champions to a reception of over 5,000 people. 

     

  • The area around Ireland West Airport Knock will have its long awaited SDZ status in place by next month (October).

    SDZ is a special development zone that has been created on a huge area of land around the airport to encourage development and to attract new enterprise and jobs to the region.

    It is the only SDZ zone in rural Ireland, and has been created in conjunction with the airport.

    Effectively it speeds up the planning process for investors, as any developer interested in developing an enterprise in the zone only needs to look to Mayo county council for planning permission, and that decision cannot go before An Bord Pleanala.

    Yesterday Mayo county councillors gave the green light for the draft development plan of the extensive area of land, and that means after a protracted process the new status becomes effective in four weeks time.

    Foxford based Fine Gael councillor Neil Cruise told Midwest News today that it is an historic development for Knock Airport.

  • Ireland West Airport Knock is one of only two Irish airports shortlisted for three awards in the prestigious Moodie Davitt airport digital, mobile and social media awards.

    The awards recognise excellence in social and digital media among airports and their commercial partners.

    Ireland West Airport is shortlisted in the ‘Best Use of Social and Digital Media’ Airport category, along with Dublin Airport and a host of other international locations.

    The airport is also shortlisted in the ‘Best Use of Facebook’ category and the ‘Best Use of Paid Social’ for the ‘We’ve Extended our Runway’ campaign. 

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    Ireland West Airport has appointed businessman Arthur French as the new chairman of the airport. The appointment comes as long serving chairman Joe Kennedy announced he is to step down from his current role as chairman to become Honorary President of the airport.

    A native of Claremorris, Arthur established his own company, French Estates, in Co. Kildare in 1975, which has been involved in numerous property, land & development sales. Last year,  Arthur was appointed as the Honorary Consul to Kazakhstan in Ireland and is currently working on economic relationships between the two countries. 

    He has been a board member of Ireland West Airport since 2006.

    Welcoming the appointment of Mr French, outgoing chairman Joe Kennedy told Midwest News that he has been honoured to serve on the board of the airport since 2002. Over those years passenger numbers through the airport have grown from 200,000 annually to 750,000 last year (2017).

    He says Arthur brings vast business experience to the position of chairman of the airport and he knows the airport will be in very capable hands under his stewardship.

    Arthur French told Midwest News that he is delighted to be appointed as chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock. He said the board is deeply indebted to Joe Kennedy for over 16 years of service, showing determination and unwavering commitment in developing and growing the airport to what it is today.

    Mr French concluded that he is “committed to continue to deliver on the airport’s  role as a key economic driver for the West and North West of Ireland and is looking forward to working with the airport team, Government and local and regional stakeholders in a new era for the airport’.

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    The Pope says he has prayed this morning for victims of clerical abuse.

    He asked for forgiveness for the scandal and betrayal felt by many.

    In a number of unscripted remarks in his speech in Knock he says he was moved by the stories of young people and children who were robbed of their innocence and left scarred by the actions the church.

    Pope Francis met last night with a number of victims of abuse in Dublin and spoke to them for almost an hour and a half.

    He said the church must be decisive in how it deals with abuse.

     

     

  • There are no signs of a let up in the industrial dispute at Ryanair.

    Dublin based pilots will stage a fourth day of action tomorrow.

    Belgium and Sweden have announced they will strike tomorrow week.

    While unions for German and Dutch based pilots have suggested they'll co-ordinate their action to take place on the same day.

    Tomorrow’s action will have no impact on any flights into or out of Ireland West Airport Knock.