Ryanair has said it will restore its second aircraft at Shannon Airport this winter, after announcing eight new routes from the airport.

The airline will operate six new routes from Shannon this winter - to Birmingham, Budapest, Edinburgh, Fuerteventura, London Luton and Turin.

Two new routes to Corfu and Gran Canaria will operate this summer.

"Ryanair has worked closely with Shannon Airport, which has seen the restoration of its two aircraft base, traffic, connectivity and jobs," said Ryanair's CEO Eddie Wilson.

"This is in stark contrast to Cork and Dublin airports, which continue to lose passengers and jobs at a time when other EU countries, regions and airports are growing and recovering connectivity," he claimed.

Mary Considine, CEO of Shannon Group, which operates Shannon Airport said today's news demonstrates Ryanair's continued commitment to the airport.

"It is very positive news for the airport and for this region after what has been a very difficult period for the aviation industry," she said.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has called on the Taoiseach to implement a traffic recovery scheme for Dublin and Cork airports - or risk losing out to other EU countries.

In a statement, Ryanair said its aircraft based at Cork airport have not returned "due to a lack of incentives, resulting in the loss of connectivity and jobs in the Cork region."

"If traffic and jobs are to return to Dublin and Cork airports, the Taoiseach must urgently implement incentives to attract Ryanair and other airlines to restore pre-pandemic capacity as Ryanair has done in Shannon airport," the statement said.

Daa which operates Dublin and Cork airports said it is working closely with their airline customers to rebuild traffic at the two airports.

"Our generous scheme gives back €50 million worth of airport charges to airlines operating at both airports, so it is absolutely not true to suggest there is no traffic recovery scheme at daa's airports," a daa spokesperson said in a statement.

According to daa, Dublin Airport’s traffic recovery scheme gives "enormous discounts" of 50% and 100% reduction in airport charges if certain passenger volumes are reached when compared to 2019 volumes.

The statement also said Cork Airport has "attractive incentive schemes" in place which offer 30% discounts on airport charges plus incentive grants for airlines to re-instate their base at the airport.

Daa pointed out that Dublin Airport charges were reduced by 40% between 2016 and 2020 and continue to fall, while charges at Cork Airport have not increased in 14 years.