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Knock airport is on track for its best year ever

The Mayo airport is expected to cater for around 700,000 passengers this year

KNOCK AIRPORT RECORDED its busiest month ever in July and is on course to clock a record year.

Over 90,000 passengers flew through the County Mayo airport last month, beating the previous best-performing month, which was August of 2012 when 89,500 passengers passed through.

The airport was established 28 years ago as part of a push, organised by Monsignor James Horan, to bring more visitors to the shrine at Knock.

The main driver behind the increase was a bump in traffic to and from the UK, which was up by 17% compared to July last year, while trips to continental Europe increased by 18%.

Overall, passenger numbers for the year are expected to reach 700,000 for the first time this year.

IRELAND UNITED STATES FLIGHT LINK Source: AP/Press Association Images

New routes from Knock to destinations like Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Kaunas in Lithuania and Glasgow with Ryanair, and Germanwings’ new service to Cologne-Bonn, have helped improve passenger numbers at the airport.

In addition to this, existing routes have been more in demand, with all four airlines operating from Knock selling more seats on existing routes.

The airport also has the newly-launched Wild Atlantic Way to thank for the uptick in traffic, with Knock being the official gateway for 8 of the 15 signature discovery points on the route.

Managing Director of Knock Joe Gilmore said that the airport is a vital commercial hub for the west of the country.

“These passenger figures highlight the importance of the airport for the regions in which we serve and how with support from regional stakeholders the airport can continue to grow and develop essential international connectivity that will lead to more jobs and prosperity for the people of the West and North West of Ireland.”

A report by Ernst & Young economic consultants found that the airport supports a total of 900 jobs in the region with an overall economic contribution of €133 million annually.

Read: Knock Airport has second-busiest year in 28 years>

Read: Calls for government to protect future of Knock airport>

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Jack Horgan-Jones

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