Passenger traffic at Knock
Airport soars to 400,000
Irish Independent -
Thursday 15th July 2004
by Lorna Reid
THE number of people using Knock airport has skyrocketed
in the first six months of this year.
The airport, which is expected to accommodate 400,000
passengers this year, is now offering flights to South
Africa, the Caribbean, the major European sunspots, and
several UK destinations.
"We are going to expand, and we see ourselves as a major
international airport with long haul capacity," said Liam
Scollan, chief executive of Knock International.
The airport now offers 25 different direct flights
worldwide and has the United States in its sights, Mr
Passenger figures for Knock increased by 55pc to 158,391
in the first six months of this year, with 2,260 passengers
accommodated on the busiest day of the year, May 27.
The airport, which was the controversial brainchild of
the late Monsignor Patrick Horan, became operational 18
years ago, and aspired to a maximum capacity of 200,000.
Last year the Airport had 250,000 passengers, an increase
of 25pc on 2002, and looks set to achieve 400,000 passengers
A new arrivals area in the airport opened two months ago
complements the new euro2m departures facility which came
into operation earlier this year.
Three new daily routes to Liverpool, Manchester, and
Nottingham/ East Midlands began earlier this year and the
airport now offers seven daily scheduled flights to and from
Dublin, Birmingham, London/Stansted, Manchester,
Nottingham/East Midlands, and Liverpool.
Last winter saw the introduction of skiing holidays from
Knock to Andorra in partnership with a tour operator, and
the airport also offers sun charter flights to Spain,
Portugal, and Greece and short break flights to leading
Knock, which is home to Ireland's premier Marian shrine,
also offers charter flights to the leading European shrines
of Lourdes, Medjugorje, and Fatima.
Mr Scollan said the company was delighted with the record
increase in passenger numbers. The airport's success had
been fuelled by the low cost airlines and the Celtic
"An airport is really only a glorified waiting room for
people arriving and departing and if you provide choice at a
competitive price then customers will come," he added.
The airport's progress was revealed as a major drive got
under way to put Ireland on the map as a premier business
Over euro1.5m will be spent in the next year in a bid to
attract the high spenders who attend conferences and
Ireland is ranked 36th in the world as a business
destination, but the new business forum aims to tap into
this lucrative market.
Failte Ireland chief Gillian Bowler said yesterday that
the provision of the National Conference Centre would be
central to the success of this particular tourism