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Ryanair announces eight new routes

Ryanair has announced plans to open eight new routes from Shannon which are expected to carry 300,000 passengers a year.

The low-cost airline said its expansion in the south-west region is in direct response to the Government's budget decision to scrap the 3 euro travel tax from April next year.

It maintained the routes to Berlin, Faro, Fuerteventura, Krakow, Munich, Nice, Paris and Warsaw - as well as increased frequency on the Stansted route - will support up to 300 new on-site jobs.

Ryanair's Michael Cawley said: "The scrapping of the air travel tax will help restore Ireland's competitiveness and attractiveness to overseas visitors from the UK and continental Europe in particular.

"Having met with all five of the main Irish airports, we hope to announce further new route and traffic growth plans over the coming weeks."

Ryanair had scaled back business at Shannon since 2008.

Shannon Airport chief executive Neil Pakey said the airline has shown real commitment to the region.

"The timing of this announcement couldn't be better for inbound visitors in particular, given the focus next year on the Wild Atlantic Way and on Limerick as the City of Culture," he added.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the announcement will boost tourism and businesses in Shannon and the region.

"I would like to thank Ryanair for their prompt and positive response to Budget 2014 and I look forward to the announcement by Ryanair of extra routes and passengers across Ireland in the coming weeks," said the TD for Limerick city.

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