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Ryanair starts flights in five new routes from Shannon Airport

Ryanair will start flights in five new routes from its Shannon base and is close to clinching a deal to start in-flight gambling.

April 4, 2006

The new flight routes from Shannon are Biarritz and Carcassonne in France, Faro in Portugal, Polish city of Krakow and Venice.

Ryanair also increased frequency in three routes from Shannon. The routes are Shannon-Barcelona, Shannon-Malaga and Shannon-Milan.

With the addition of new routes, which will start on October 12 this year, the number of destinations of Ryanair will go up to 24, Ryanair's chief executive officer Michael O'Leary said.

Michael O'Leary said the new plans will create 240 jobs. O'Leary said the routes and increased frequency will serve 2,40,000 additional passengers and spur tourism spend by an additional 55 million euros.

Ryanair will also bring in a fourth Boeing 737-800 in Shannon from September. This will put Ryanair's investment in Shannon to more than $ 250 million.

He also exhorted passengers to book the flights in the new routes on its web site as early as possible as the demand is likely to be very high.

Niall Gibbons, Director of Corporate Services and Policy, Tourism Ireland, said overseas visitors were the main drivers of tourism growth in Europe last year.

Overseas visits in the European market grew 20%, he said. Tourism Ireland aims to rope in 8.5 million overseas visitors to Ireland in 2006, he said.

Director of Shannon Airport Martin Moroney said Ryanair's Shannon base has made the Shannon International Airport Ireland's low cost gateway.

In another development, Ryanair said it sees a higher fuel bill this year. The airline, however, said higher average fares and a 20 per cent increase in passenger traffic would offset that.

Ryanair aims to fly 42 million passengers in the coming year, up from 35 million this year.

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