The introduction of the new routes addresses the strong market demand for transatlantic flights to, and from, Ireland West Airport Knock and will realise enormous benefits to the business and tourism sectors as well as to the general public in the west,
and midlands region.
The transatlantic flights have the potential to bring up to 35,000 US tourists and an estimated €28 million spending boost to the region in 2007 and this is expected to grow to over 56,000 US tourists with an estimated spend of up to €45 million by 2008.
Speaking at the announcement event held at the Airport today, the
Minister for Community, Rural and
Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr.
21 years ago, many people laughed at the idea of building an international airport in rural West of Ireland because it went against the accepted theory of providing services first in urban areas with higher populations.
However, Ireland West Airport Knock is a classic illustration of an alternative theory I have promoted for years; that if we provide services in rural areas, they become more attractive to live in, population levels rise, demand for the services grow, and the pressures on our urban
The Minister continued:
I firmly believe that Government investment in enterprises such as this is leading the way and that our society is beginning to
realise that we can provide much more efficient and cost-effective infrastructure, services and employment in our rural areas.
Ireland West Airport Knock, which has gone from strength to strength over the last 21 years, is a shining example of the resourcefulness, foresight and business acumen of our rurally based population.
With today's announcement of their new transatlantic service, the Board and management of Ireland West Airport Knock are to be commended for providing another essential service for all the people of the West of Ireland."
Commenting on the proposed new services, Minister for Transport, Martin Cullen TD said: “
The Government’s air services strategy promotes competitiveness, flexibility, consumer choice and diversity of product to satisfy different consumer needs. I am very pleased that
will be bringing new competition into the market place and introducing choice for the Irish passenger. It is a positive development that residents in the west of
will be able to fly to
This presents a great opportunity to grow tourism and exploit business opportunities for the benefit of the BMW region.”
Speaking at the event,
Knock, Joe Kennedy,
“This announcement marks a significant milestone in
the State’s 49 Year Transatlantic, and the Airport’s 21 Year, aviation history and is a huge boost for the
. I want to thank members of our Board, the Airport’s management and marketing team and the scores of people on both sides of the
who have worked tirelessly together and overcome many challenges to achieve this historic development. I also thank our Government, Minister Ó
Cuív, and Minister Cullen and his department for lending their support to enable our Airport and
flyglobespan to operate these services.”
I am delighted we can launch these services from
Knock and give the local population the chance to visit two of the world’s most exciting cities at such fantastic prices. The hereditary and cultural ties between the north east cost of
and the West of
are very strong and we expect there to be a similarly big demand for seats out from the States and into
These new routes are part of daily services we are introducing between
and JFK and
. They have been attracting considerable interest from both sides of the
since they went on sale and we expect a similarly favourable response from these additional services.
Managing Director of Ireland West Airport,
“I’m delighted to welcome
flyglobespan to our Airport and I commend especially its Chairman,
, for having the courage and entrepreneurship to break new ground and operate these services out of our region in what is a very competitive global marketplace. Our
staff looks forward to working closely with the
flyglobespan team, business interests and tourism partners to ensure the success of these new services.
These transatlantic services will connect neighbours, friends and relatives that have long been separated by a century of emigration from this region to the
. They will put the west and north west of Ireland into the heart of the tourist trail for Americans who love Ireland and especially the West, while bringing the highly popular Big Apple and Boston cities within easy low fares reach for the people of the West of Ireland who fancy a visit.
The introduction of this service will also improve job prospects in
by strengthening the connection between the many
multinationals and businesses in the region with the huge American marketplace.
On the Irish side, there is a long roll of honour of people who in many ways made this happen. This was a collaborative effort from our airport staff, diplomatic circles, from tourism and transport interests and the Government and all those who could see the importance of the
, at both regional and national level, were instrumental in their support. Singled out for mention is Ray
McSharry, former Government Minister and European Commissioner who worked closely with the Airport in the final stages of the project.
In his speech, Joe Kennedy paid a special tribute to the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.
“We met Mayor Bloomberg on his visit to
22nd August 2006
, when he was invited to
by John Perry TD who arranged the introduction and whose support we are most grateful for. We
rmed the Mayor of our aspirations to start services to the
. He agreed to help. By December 2006, he had delivered on his promise in dramatic fashion when
flyglobespan won approval from the
Authorities for flights to operate via
West Knock to the
. He was ably supported in his endeavour by Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs Kevin
Sheekey and Adrian Flannelly, Irish Liaison for the Mayor, a highly respected and influential Irish American in New York who helped convey the strengths of Ireland West Airport Knock and the importance of direct services into the west of Ireland to the Mayor.”
In a supporting statement,
New York City
, Michael Bloomberg
New York City
have shared a strong bond, and we have had the good fortune to be the island’s 33rd County. Starting this May, we will grow even closer with the start of three weekly flights between
Knock and the international airport in
New York City
named for John F. Kennedy, whose great grandparents left
during the Great Hunger. Not only will these flights make it easier for Americans to get to the west of
, it will enable even more Irish residents to visit
. Thanks to the hard work of scores of people on both sides of the Atlantic, including Deputy Mayor for Government Affairs Kevin
Sheekey, as well as my good friend Adrian Flannelly, we were able to secure these important routes
and I look forward to landing on the runway myself next week.”
Congratulating Ireland West Airport Knock and everyone concerned in securing the flights,
Paul O’Toole, Chief Executive, Tourism
said that the new services were a huge vote of confidence in the region. “
They will substantially expand air travel options for potential tourists and open up
’s Western Regions even more as a holiday destination to the lucrative North American market. Tourism
will work closely with
Knock and the industry both in
and in the
, to promote and
maximise the inbound tourism potential presented by these new transatlantic routes
Welcoming the new route,
Gillian Buckley, Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission said: "
This is a significant milestone for
Knock and for the development of the Western Region, both economically and socially. The new flights will enable the West of
to build even stronger links with the
, which is a very important source of employment for both industry and tourism in the region
Monsignor Joseph Quinn from Knock Shrine
, speaking at the event said: “
This realizes a key part of the original vision for the Airport which was to serve pilgrims worldwide. This announcement has huge potential to attract more pilgrims from the United States to Knock Shrine and to the many religious and Christian heritage sites throughout the west of Ireland.”
Low cost fares and a quality tailor-made service!
Flights to JFK will depart from Ireland West Knock on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at
, while flights from JFK will arrive into Ireland West Knock at
hours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Mondays.
will depart Ireland West Knock on Wednesdays and Sundays at
, while flights from
will arrive at
hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
will operate two cabins on these routes. Economy seats will begin at €157 sector plus tax, while the business cabin will have fares starting from €357 per sector plus tax. A premium service upgrade is also available from €233 per sector plus tax. Business Class will feature full in-flight entertainment, dedicated priority check-in and the use of an airport executive lounge on departure from the
Detailing the new services,
Knock’s Marketing Manager,
are introducing a super new service to the general public and to businesses in our region. They offer low fares and a high quality service. Not only can our customers have the convenience of flying direct to
from our Airport with our low cost parking of just €22 per week, but they can do so tailored to their own requirements and price range. They can enjoy gourmet meals served with fine wines which can be pre-selected when booking on http://www.flyglobespan.com/ or at their local travel agent, prior to departure.
Premier economy passengers can enjoy complimentary meals and in-flight entertainment while economy passengers can pre-book and pay for their in flight entertainment and meals. Jointly, we aim to deliver what our
market and our region demands and we are optimistic that we will continue to have the support of our customers, tourism industry and business partners in ensuring this will be a successful venture for all long into the future.
rmation on flights to and from
Ireland West Airport
please log on to http://www.irelandwestairport.com/ or contact
flyglobespan at + (0)1 874 7666 or website http://www.flyglobespan.com/ or ask your local travel agent.
Ireland West Airport Knock opened its doors for business on
May 30th 1986
. Continuing its double digit growth each year since 2002, Ireland West Airport Knock has grown annual passenger numbers by a further 17% to an estimated 621,000 in 2006 - up from 530,000 in 2005. The growth stems from a 16% increase in passengers on its
scheduled routes as well as a 27% growth in European holiday charter routes which now number 70,000 passengers annually. August 2006 was the busiest month ever in the history of the Airport with over 82,000 passengers having passed through its doors.
The Airport currently has five scheduled flights to the
with low cost airlines
Ryanair (London Luton, London
Stansted & Nottingham East Midlands starting
27th February 2007
) as well as a daily scheduled flight to
Arann. The Airport also offers a wide range of European charter flights by
’s top tour operators. This number of charter holiday passengers is expected to increase to 90,000 passengers in 2007.
transatlantic services have the potential to bring an additional 50,000 passengers to the Airport in 2007.
First Transatlantic Charter Flight
July 29th 1986
the first transatlantic charter flies into our Airport from
with 254 on board a Super 73 DC-8 jet.
Although a comparatively new name to
flyglobespan are one of the industry’s fastest growing airlines. These new Ireland West Knock services will mean that their website
will be offering flights from 16 British and Irish airports to 29 worldwide destinations stretching from Cape Town to Vancouver. These services will also be available through your local travel agent shops and tour operator.
Since its launch in 2002, the airline had been concentrating mostly on short-haul flights to
’s most popular resorts and cities.
Last year, however, saw the launch of their first long-haul service with a daily flight between Glasgow and
Orlando Sanford which has now been expanded to include a weekly Belfast–Sanford flight.
This year sees another substantial expansion of their long-haul service with a variety of routes from
and Irish airports to US and Canadian destinations.
The new Ireland West Knock routes will be the latest additions to the programme.