Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary today promised to deliver an extra 750,000 extra passsengers, 150 new jobs, and five new European destinations to Shannon, but only if his radical plan for a new terminal at Dublin is given the go-ahead by Government.
Mr. O’Leary met with business and worker interest groups in Limerick today to try to gain support for what he described as a radical new Ryanair plan, which he said, could halt struggling growth at Shannon. He blamed Aer Rianta for Shannon's demise and said their monopolistic approach had meant airline carriers going elsewhere.
He described Shannon simply as a 'wee-wee' stop for carriers like Pakistan and Royal Jordanian airways, who he said only stopped to refuel and bring in transit passengers.
He said however that the expansion plans at Shannon are contingent and conditional on Government support for their low cost proposals at Dublin Airport, which include building a £12m passenger terminal, and a one pound fee for each departing passenger.
Aer Rianta described Mr. O’Leary's plan as purely cynical and that he was using Shannon simply as a pawn to get what he wants in Dublin. A spokesman wondered why Mr. O’Leary had not gone into Shannon over the past three years when he could have availed of free landing charges.