From runway to golf green – literally – at Shannon Airport

The Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open may be two months off but golf enthusiasts were getting in some early practice at an unlikely venue over the bank holiday weekend as Shannon Airport rolled out the green carpet to whet the appetite for the Lahinch event. 

The gateway airport that will welcome golfers and fans from across the globe for the tournament at the stunning Lahinch course from July 3rd to 7th had hundreds of wannabe golf pros chancing their arm at the temporary green in the airport arrivals hall. 

For the many transatlantic passengers landing in Shannon to play Lahinch or the many other links courses along the Wild Atlantic Way, it was an unexpected early start to their golfing holiday. For others, it whetted the appetite for the much-anticipated tournament.

Among those having a go was Shannon Airport’s Managing Director Andrew Murphy, a golf enthusiast. 

“We are really excited that Shannon Airport is the natural access point for the much anticipated Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open in July. We wanted to create a novel golf experience for our passengers over the bank holiday weekend to promote the event.  So, we teamed up with the event organisers to put a putting green in place to give our passengers an opportunity to hone their golfing skills and have their picture taken with the trophy, which has the names of many top former winners emblazoned on it. 

“We are always trying to look for ways to make passengers’ time here better, and this was in keeping with that. 

“The Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open is going to be a quality event at a fantastic course. It will showcase the West of Ireland and Wild Atlantic Way and will, no doubt, attract many tourists here for the tournament and, indeed, afterward once they see the beauty of the place.

“We’re really looking forward to it and, not least, welcoming golfers playing the tournament.  Shannon will be the first point of welcome, and we intend on making it a good one,” he said.

Shannon Group delivers strong performance with fourth successive year of growth

The Group’s 2018 financial results shows 37% growth in EBITDA

  • 2018 was Shannon Airport’s best year this decade with passenger growth of 6.5% bringing total passenger numbers to over 1.86 million
  • Shannon Heritage, the largest commercial  operator of day and night-time visitor attractions in Ireland, recorded a 4.3% increase in visitor numbers to a record high of almost 925,000
  • Shannon Commercial Properties completed its €40 million first-phase investment programme at Shannon Free Zone, more than doubling occupancy rates to 94% since 2013.

Monday 29th April 2019: Shannon Group plc, the parent company of Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon Heritage,  delivered a fourth consecutive year of growth in 2018.

A strong performance across all three of its companies is reflected in the Group’s 2018 year end result which shows a turnover last year of €77.8 million, 8% ahead of 2017, and EBITDA of €12.7 million, an increase of 37%. These results reflect improved year-on-year performance and continued growth since the formation of the Group in 2014.

Last year the Group invested over €21 million in a range of capital investment projects to help enhance and drive its business operations. This investment is part of the first phase Group investment strategy which has seen almost €85 million invested since 2014.

Said Shannon Group CEO, Matthew Thomas: “2018 has been yet another positive year for Shannon Group – we have seen more passengers using our airport, more visitors enjoying our heritage tourist attractions, and our property portfolio attracting more businesses to the region. It is particularly pleasing that all the Group’s divisions are showing growth in turnover and productivity. Profits generated by the Group are reinvested in our companies to ensure their long-term growth and sustainability, and to continue to deliver a positive economic impact for the people of our region.”

With the negative impact of the Max Jet grounding, Mr Thomas sounded a cautionary note: “2019 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for Shannon Airport. The world-wide grounding of the 737 Max aircraft is having serious implications for passengers and the aviation industry alike. At Shannon it is impacting our well supported and successful Norwegian and Air Canada services. This will affect our passenger throughput and resultant business as we build towards what is otherwise a busy summer season. We continue to work with the airlines to assist them in every way we can to aid the return of these services.” 

Commenting on the results, Rose Hynes, Chairman, Shannon Group said:  “Following another successful year, the Group is now moving on to the next phase of its journey.  We have an ambitious strategy to ensure continued growth in the years ahead. Our plans demonstrate Shannon Group’s commitment to the NPF ambitions. We are confident that with the right supports and policies, we will play an important role in the successful implementation of Project Ireland 2040 and its promise to generate 75% growth outside of the capital over the next 21 years.

“We are determined to continue to maximise the opportunities in each of our businesses. As a very significant business in the regional and national economy, we are committed to working in partnership with all our stakeholders to ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for Shannon Group and our region,” said Ms Hynes.

Shannon Group 2018 highlights:

Shannon Airport

  • Sixth successive year of growth with 6.5%  increase in passengers to over 1.86 million in 2018
  • UK and transatlantic markets biggest performers, up 7% on each
  • On transatlantic, Shannon operated  six airlines to seven destinations – the airport’s biggest number of services to the US/Canada in 17 years
  • During 2018 there were 25,556 take offs and landings from the airport’s newly resurfaced runway, which at 3,199 metres (10,495 ft) is the longest runway in Ireland

Shannon Commercial Properties

  • Completed its €40 million first phase investment strategy and delivered over 650,000 sq ft of new or upgraded office, manufacturing and warehouse facilities at the Shannon Free Zone
  • Over 150,000 sq ft of renovated or new builds completed at Shannon Free Zone in 2018 alone
  • Among projects completed during the year include GE Sensing Expansion Project, Advanced Technology Manufacturing Unit (ATMU), Starbucks and numerous upgrade projects
  • Occupancy rates at Shannon Free Zone now at 94%, have more than doubled since 2013
  • Among new companies established at Shannon Free Zone in 2018 were; Jaguar Land Rover (with the creation of 150 jobs), Edward Life Sciences, Aero-Zone, STS UJet Group, Stratos, Aerospace Asset Trading, Aerospace Inspection, Euro Superabrasive and Starbucks
  • Gateway Hub co-working space for small business and entrepreneurs at Shannon Airport House in Shannon Free Zone is now home to FroschCTM, InflightFlix, Sonas Aviation, Airborne Capital, The Air Law Firm.

Shannon Heritage

  • 4.3% increase in visitor numbers to almost  925,000 – a doubling of visitor numbers since 2012
  • Last year’s performance was assisted by the addition of Newbridge House & Gardens in May, in partnership with Fingal County Council
  • Over 73,000 visitors attended an annual calendar of seasonal events – Easter, Halloween and Christmas – a 32% increase on 2017
  • In 2018 Shannon Heritage visitor attractions generated 253,000 bed nights, supported 840 direct and indirect jobs and generated an economic value of €28 million to the Irish economy
  • Shannon Heritage invested over €1 million in capital investment projects to enhance and upgrade visitor attractions during the year.


Note to Editor:

About Shannon Group plc

Shannon Group plc is a commercial semi-state company established on the 5th September 2014. The Group, which employs more than 600 people, operates and manages three companies; Shannon Airport, Shannon Commercial Properties and Shannon Heritage, and through its IASC brand promotes the growing aviation cluster at Shannon. Shannon Group supports over 46,500 jobs, generates an economic impact of €3.6 billion per year and contributes €1.15 billion in Exchequer returns. 

  • Shannon Airport provides world-wide air connectivity for its customers, offering direct services to destinations across Europe and North America.
  • Shannon Commercial Properties develops commercial property and manages one of the largest property portfolios in Ireland. It provides property solutions that enable Foreign Direct Investment and indigenous businesses to develop in the Mid-West and West regions. 
  • Shannon Heritage is the largest commercial operator and developer of tourist attractions in Ireland. It manages a variety of world leading immersive day visitor attractions and evening entertainment events in Clare, Limerick, Galway and Dublin
  • Through the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC), the Group also supports the development of a cluster of over 80 aviation companies based in the Shannon Free Zone.

Shannon Group’s mission is to manage and develop its aviation, tourism and property assets, to generate a sustainable commercial return, to drive excellence in safety standards and service to customers and to make a difference to the communities it serve.

For more visit

Engine Lease Finance Corporation (ELFC) celebrates 30 years milestone with newly refurbished €4m state-of-the-art facilities at Shannon

Investment by Shannon Group will facilitate further growth in the decades ahead

The world’s largest independent aircraft engine leasing company, Engine Lease Finance Corporation (“ELFC”), is celebrating its 30th year of business in Shannon with a complete upgrade of its offices and a commitment to grow its Irish base.

Headquartered at Shannon Free Zone since its founding in 1989, ELFC, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance (“MUL”), is moving back into its state-of-the-art headquarters at the Shannon Free Zone after an extensive €4 million refurbishment carried by Shannon Group’s property company, Shannon Commercial Properties, who own the building.

The works were carried out on the iconic four-storey glass fronted building over a 12 month period by L&M Keating, with the 60 ELFC staff returning to the facility in time to mark its 30th anniversary this year.  

ELFC is the world’s largest independent aircraft engine leasing company and has a portfolio of 300 engines worth in excess of €2 billion and serves 79 airlines and customers around the globe from its Shannon headquarters. 

Commenting on the investment by Shannon Commercial Properties, ELFC President & CEO and Clare native, Tom Barrett said: “This is a very significant statement by our company and Shannon Commercial Properties, one that is recognising the 30 years of operations here by ELFC.   This extensive upgrade has provided our staff with the very best facilities in the region, a state-of-the-art headquarters that they deserve.

Along with our parent company, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance (“MUL”), we look forward to continuing to grow the business of ELFC from our Shannon Free Zone headquarters for the next 30 years.  We are delighted to have the support of the landlord who have delivered on our vision for our staff.”

ELFC has gradually built its business since 1989 to the point where its global customer base covers all the continents, with its overseas staff operating from offices in Boston, Hong Kong and London with other staff based in Beijing, Birmingham, Dublin, Madrid, Singapore and Tulsa.  In addition to its core engine leasing business, it acquired a majority stake in a Chicago based parts company, INAV LLC, in 2017.

Commenting on the opening of its newly refurbished offices, the Chairman of ELFC and Group Head of Aviation Division & Executive Managing Officer of MUL, Mr. Osamu Muramoto commented that

“MUL are delighted to support the success of ELFC since its acquisition in 2014 and look forward to many more years of success for ELFC and its staff in the future.  ELFC represents one of MUL’s very important overseas subsidiaries and is a significant contributor to MUL’s aviation business platform.”

Said Shannon Group’s Ray O’Driscoll, Managing Director of Shannon Commercial Properties:  “ELFC is a stellar name globally in aircraft engine leasing and its presence here over the past 30 years has played a key role in the Shannon Free Zone becoming a major global cluster in the aviation and aerospace sectors. This is something we are very proud of and grateful for.

“As owners of the property, we are recognising their commitment to this region by making sure they have the absolute best facilities possible through this major refurbishment. That’s the standard that Shannon Commercial Properties is focussed on delivering through our ongoing, record investment programme which has already seen over €40 million invested at Shannon Free Zone to-date.”

Mr Barrett added: “In common with many of the aircraft and engine leasing companies based in Ireland, ELFC is a world leader in the aviation leasing sector from its earliest days.  With the support of its parent company, MUL, who acquired it less than 5 years ago, the company has seen its portfolio grow and staff numbers increase by about 30% respectively to the point where it now employs 66 people of 9 different nationalities across the globe. 

The majority of these are based in its Shannon headquarters where ELFC is pleased to provide a truly international working environment and many challenging opportunities for its 51 locally based staff.” 

ELFC is one of the longest established members of the International Aviation Centre (IASC) promoted aviation cluster at Shannon, a cluster of aviation enterprises which presently number in excess of 80 companies.

Shannon Airport welcomes Lufthansa’s doubling of capacity on Frankfurt service 

Thursday 28 February 2019: Shannon Airport is today delighted to announce that its first ever scheduled Lufthansa service is to have its capacity doubled this year with the announcement of a second weekly service to Frankfurt

The service will now operate to Frankfurt on Thursdays as well as Saturdays, with the outbound leg on Thursdays arriving in Frankfurt in time to meet onward connections at one of Europe’s largest and most important airport hubs.

The service will operate weekly using an Embraer190 aircraft on Thursdays and an Airbus A319 on Saturdays and will run from the May 2 to October 12.

Commenting on the enhanced commitment, Andreas Koester, Senior Director Sales UK, Ireland & Iceland: “Testament to the demand for our services in this important market, we are delighted to be able to double our capacity on the Shannon-Frankfurt route. At Lufthansa, we pride ourselves on delivering high levels of customer satisfaction. This additional capacity enables us to offer even greater options for onward outbound connections through Europe and long haul destinations to Asia, Sao Paulo and Johannesburg, with the inbound flight offering a more seamless journey from the North Atlantic. We look forward to building on this success to further expand our footprint in Ireland.”

Welcoming the announcement, Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy said:  “This is very positive news for us as it reaffirms the market that there is for Shannon for services into European hub airports.  Lufthansa, which is one of Europe’s biggest airlines, came on board with this service in 2017 and would not be doubling frequency unless the demand was there.

 Having Lufthansa commit with this second weekly service across the summer season is very encouraging from that perspective.  We have worked very hard on this, as we do with all our services, and are really pleased to be making this gain.”

Mr Murphy added:  “In addition to the outbound opportunities for onward connections and, indeed, the opportunity this gives eastern markets to fly with one-stop connectivity into Shannon, the German market is the third largest tourism market for Ireland. As the gateway airport to the Wild Atlantic Way, we offer direct access for that market to the part of the country that resonates the most with them.  We look forward to working with Lufthansa and growing this service further in the future.”

Making history at Shannon: Gainjet Ireland takes delivery of the world’s first EJ-registered aircraft

“It’s been an amazing three years,” says Gainjet Ireland CEO

Tuesday 16th October 2018: There were double celebrations today at Shannon Airport, as Gainjet Ireland took delivery of a new jet, which made history as the first aircraft in the world to be registered on the new Irish EJ aircraft register, administered by the Irish Aviation Authority. The registration comes almost 90 years to the day since the first ever Irish aircraft registration, EI-AAA, in October 1928.

Established just three years ago in August 2015 and securing their operating certificate (AOC) in June 2016, Gainjet Ireland, based at Shannon Airport, is a leading worldwide private jet charter operator and management company. The new aircraft, EJ-IOBN, an Embraer Lineage 1000 executive jet, joins Gainjet Ireland’s growing fleet of Boeing, Gulfstream, Challenger and Citation aircraft in the worldwide executive aircraft market.

Gainjet’s team of 14 staff managed under the watchful eye of Ray Mills (the CEO and Accountable Manager) has grown the company from day one. Gainjet has gone from strength to strength with a fleet of luxury jets for charter and private clients.

Commenting on the success of the company, Mr Mills said: “It’s been an amazing year. We started at Shannon with three jets back in 2016. We chose Shannon because it is a strategically located European base that connects continents. Moreover, thanks to the growing IASC cluster, Shannon has become a major aviation hub for leasing companies and for Atlantic crossing traffic.

“Shannon Airport is a three-time Airport of the Year winner and we are very proud to be based here. We’re grateful to the Irish Aviation Authority who have been so supportive, and to IASC for its consistent support and promotion of the aviation businesses here.

“With the delivery of our latest jet, we now operate seven jets. We have plans to take delivery of further jets before the end of the year. With the new EJ register in place, Gainjet Ireland now offers fast and efficient ‘In-House’ aircraft registry solutions for commercial and NCC corporate jets, based on EASA’s high standards, for Europe and Internationally. I think it’s fair to say that very exciting times lie ahead. Watch this space,” he said.

Gainjet Ireland operates within Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) the business unit within Shannon Group plc tasked with building on the well-established aviation cluster at Shannon. Congratulating Gainjet Ireland, Patrick Edmond, IASC Managing Director said: “It is fantastic to see what Gainjet has achieved in such a short time. This is down to its experienced CEO and dedicated team. We in Shannon have a particular focus on the area of business and corporate aviation. This commitment to growth by a leading player such as GainJet is a real vote of confidence in the aviation ecosystem here in Shannon that’s developed over decades and reaffirms Shannon’s attractiveness as an ideal location for aerospace and aviation businesses.”

About Gainjet Ireland:

Established in June 2016 at Shannon Airport campus, Gainjet Aviation is a leading worldwide private jet charter operator and management company. GainJet Ireland is a subsidiary AOC operation.  Our parent company is based in Athens, Greece with an office in London, U.K. Our global network also includes strategic partners all over the world.

Our large and versatile fleet offers a wide range of VIP aircraft, positioned throughout Europe and the Middle-East to provide our clients with the best VIP travel solution for their requirements.

We offer a customized travel experience tailored to your specific needs. Whatever your travel requirements may be, our leading team of professionals is available 24/7 to ensure that these requirements are met with the highest standards of passenger care. So enjoy your flight and let us take care of the rest.

This year Gainjet Ireland also introduced “Jet Lease Finance” a unique company that offers the opportunity to lease top-class aircraft with affordable structured contracts to elite clients.

For further information please visit;;

About the EJ Register:

The EJ- register was launched in March 2015 with an update to the Irish Aviation Authority (Nationality And Registration Of Aircraft) Order that allowed the use of EJ- followed by four letters. VIP or Business Aircraft in excess of 5,700KG MTOW, used for private or public transport, can be registered on the “EJ” Register. The register offers the benefits of a gold-standard onshore EASA jurisdiction and is designed for full compliance with current and forthcoming EASA regulations including Part NCC.

The “EJ” Registration format consists of EJ plus four letters, which allows for significant flexibility for personalised registrations. In addition, an assigned registration mark can be transferred to another aircraft owned by the same owner, if desired. The “EJ” Register will allow Private Owners or Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (AOC) Holders to register aircraft. The register will support temporary withdrawal of an aircraft from an AOC for valid operational reasons, for example for private flying in the USA.

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Shannon Airport,
Co Clare,
t: +353 (0)61 710000

A Shannon Group Company