BUSINESSMAN Pádraig Ó’Céidigh has resigned less than six months after being appointed as Chairman of the Shannon Group.
r Ó’Céidigh, who owned Aer Arann airline before it became auditor and was sold in 2014, succeeded Rose Hynes in that role. She is now Chair of the Irish Aviation Authority.
The Shannon Group controls Shannon Airport and has a number of ownership interests. It is headed by Managing Director Mary Considine.
Mr Ó’Céidigh, a former Senator, appeared before the Oireachtas Transport Committee last October before his appointment was confirmed.
“Let me reassure the committee that working with the CEO and board on restoring Shannon Airport from the devastation caused by the pandemic will be my primary focus,” he told the committee. “It is a major but exciting challenge at what is probably the most difficult time the global airline industry has ever faced.”
Shannon Airport is facing major difficulties during the pandemic but has seen a number of airlines resume services from the gateway.
Fianna Fáil Tourism and Aviation spokeswoman Cathal Crowe said he would like representatives from the Shannon Group and the Department of Transport to appear before the Oireachtas Transport Committee to discuss the future of the Shannon Group.
“Like so many people in this region with a keen interest and concern for Shannon Airport, I saw great hope in the appointment of Ó Céidigh,” said Mr Crowe.
“I have written to the Chairman of the Oireachtas Transport Committee, Deputy Kieran O’Donnell, to propose that we urgently summon Mr Ó Céidigh, Mary Considine and Fintan Towey, the Assistant Secretary for Aviation at the Department for Transport, to present before our committee appear to discuss the reasons for this resignation and the way forward in relation to a replacement,” he added.
Mr Ó Céidigh told the Transport Committee last year that the Shannon Group and Shannon Airport are vital to the region.
“I believe the Shannon Group is well positioned to play a key role in the region’s recovery and I am committed to working with the CEO and board to ensure that happens,” he said. “I will bring drive, passion and energy to the role.”
“Recovery of the aviation sector to pre-pandemic levels is likely to take many years and it is certain that airports like Shannon will face greatly increased competition for new routes during this time,” he added. “However, I have set myself the ambitious goal of bringing Shannon’s air traffic back to 2019 levels by 2024.”
In 2019, Shannon Airport handled 1.7 million passengers, compared to 1.86 million in 2018. In 2020, the number dropped to 352,000 with the outbreak of the pandemic.
https://www.independent.ie/business/padraig-oceidigh-steps-down-as-shannon-group-chairman-after-less-than-six-months-41482770.html Pádraig Ó’Céidigh steps down as Chief Executive Officer of the Shannon Group after less than six months