Ryanair will start a new Shannon to Barcelona Reus route next year, the first of its Shannon summer 2018 routes

The service will be run twice a week from March.

Shannon Airport's managing director Andrew Murphy said the new service is very welcome news for the airport. 

He said that Barcelona Reus is not only a popular sun destination, but the new service opens up the European city break market for people in the region providing direct access to the city of Barcelona which is less than a 90 minute journey by train and bus from the town of Reus.

Air Canada has announced it will operate a new direct service from Shannon to Toronto beginning in June and  flying four days a week.

The service will fly into Toronto's  Pearson International  airport which is an Air Canada hub, and passengers can then fly onto an additional 190 destinations.

Meanwhile, Ryanair yesterday said it would base three more aircraft at Frankfurt airport from summer 2018 to add 34 new routes including Athens, Lisbon and Marseille. 

That brings the number of planes it has at Germany's biggest airport to 10, encroaching further onto rival Lufthansa's territory. 

Asked at a news conference whether Ryanair could grow further at Frankfurt airport after next summer, its chief commercial officer David O'Brien said that depended largely on the competitive environment.