Ryanair to open eight new routes from Shannon

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Ryanair will launch new services from Shannon to Poland, Germany, France and Portugal and Spain next year, almost doubling its network out of the regional Irish airport.

From April, the Irish low-cost carrier will operate from Shannon a total of 55 weekly flights to Berlin, Faro, the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, Krakow, Munich, Nice, Paris and Warsaw. It will also boost frequency of the London Stansted service.

The new routes will increase Shannon's Ryanair network from 10 to 18 routes and are intended to boost Ryanair's passenger numbers there from 450,000 to 750,000.

Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley says the new routes are the result of the newly independent airport's "flexibility" in responding to the Irish government's decision to scrap travel tax next year.

"Shannon have been competitive in what they offered," says Cawley. "I suspect we will probably have to put in aircraft... It's likely we will base a second aircraft here."

The Ryanair executive says he expects more routes will be added at Shannon and that further frequencies will be added to London and regional UK points thanks to Ireland's decision to abolish a levy that has "decimated the Irish tourism market for the last seven to eight years".

A day after the Irish budget was unveiled, Ryanair said it intended to add one million extra passengers to Irish airports, including Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Knock and Shannon.