The number of passengers travelling through Shannon Airport rose 8% in June, according to the airport’s authority.

It marks the first time the airport has seen month-on-month growth in passenger numbers in five years, with the airport catering to 160,573 people in June compared to 148,531 in the same month of last year.

Much of the growth can be attributed to a 38% rise in US passengers, driven largely by the launch of United Airlines’ Chicago service last month.

Meanwhile there was an 18% increase in the number of passengers flying to European countries, with the return of Ryanair’s service to Alicante and the commencement of Aer Lingus’ flights to Faro being the main drivers there.

Shannon Airport has been managed as an independent entity since the start of the year, having previously come under the remit of the Dublin Airport Authority.

Since then its management has focused on expanding the number of services at the airport, something boosted by Aer Lingus’ recent announcement that it would increase the frequency of its existing Boston and JFK New York flights next year.