Waterford Airport checked in its 100,000th passenger for 2007, a record-breaking year for the regional airport which serves the southeast with scheduled flights to London-Luton; Birmingham and Manchester as well as summer routes to France, Portugal and Spain.
The champagne was popped by airport CEO, Graham Doyle, when Michelle Brown, travelling to Birmingham on the 3.10 pm Aer Arann flight, brought the annual passenger total into six figures in one year for the first time. In addition to the champagne toast, Ms Brown was presented with tickets for free flights from Waterford Airport.
?The excellent performance of the airport has been due in no small measure to the success of Aer Arann, which reported in August that the Waterford to London Luton route was its most successful, having reached a monthly record for the award-winning regional airline of 9,000 passengers on that route alone,? said the CEO.
?Passenger figures were also increased due to the introduction of Slattery Sun?s exciting summer routes to Malaga, Faro and Bordeaux and by Aer Arann?s seasonal scheduled service to Lorient in northwest France,? said Graham Doyle.
?We are now enjoying better than ever support from the people of Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Carlow and from further afield as word spreads that Waterford is the hassle-free way to get to the UK and the Continent and we have exciting plans for next year and the coming years to build on the success of 2007? added the CEO.
Chairman of Waterford Airport, Nicky Fewer, said he was pleased to note the ever-increasing passenger levels achieved at Waterford Airport and to thank all those who have used the facility during 2007 and in the past.
?Without our customers we cannot implement our strategic plan to develop this facility as a major part of the regional and national transport infrastructure in line with Government policy to develop Waterford as the Gateway City for the southeast,? said Mr Fewer.
?Waterford Airport has demonstrated that enormous potential exists and the growth curve has been positive in recent years with a total of 81,000 passengers last year, growing to 100,000 so far this year with more than a month still to go,? added the Chairman.
?Preparatory work and planning is progressing well for the recently announced substantial capital development programme to be completed by the end of 2009. A total of ?27.7 million is earmarked for expansion and development at the airport, with ?22.3 million allocated by the Minister for Transport under the Department of Transport?s Capital Expenditure Grant Scheme.
?The projects funded under Transport 21 will transform Waterford Airport. The runway will be extended and will allow Waterford Airport to tap into the region?s pent up demand for additional scheduled services and charter business,? said Mr Fewer.