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Tourism boost as Ryanair launch Cologne to Knock service


WARM WELCOME Ireland West Airport’s Joe Gilmore and Audrey Elliot extended a warm welcome to passengers on the inaugural Ryanair flight from Cologne.  Pic: Henry Wills

Ireland West Airport last week welcomed the first scheduled service from Cologne in Germany with Ryanair to the west of Ireland.
Between June and September, Ryanair will operate direct flights to and from Cologne every Tuesday and Saturday. Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city and the largest city of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Centred on the left bank of the Rhine, Cologne is regarded as Germany’s capital of carnivals, reflecting the lifestyle of its inhabitants, who make Cologne the incredibly energetic spot that it is. Cologne is ideally located just an hours train journey from Frankfurt and only 90 minutes from Brussels, providing easy onwards travel options for visitors.
“This new service is a major boost for tourism in the west and north west regions of Ireland as it provides the only direct access to the west coast from the North Rhine-Westphalia region,” said Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport.
“Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland with a record year forecasted in 2018 of over 650,000 German visitors with 50 percent of German holidaymakers visiting the west and north west of Ireland during their stay.”
On hand to greet arriving passengers were representatives from the Gourmet Greenway Food Trail, who provided samples of delicious locally produced cuisines. The food trail has been devised by the Mulranny Park Hotel, in association with Mayo food producers, to showcase the wonderful artisan food in the vicinities of Mulranny, Newport, Westport and Achill.
Accompanying passengers on the first flight from Cologne were a selection of media representatives from some of Germanys biggest media organisations, who took part in a three day familiarisation trip.
Gilmore said he was delighted to welcome the first service from Cologne with Ryanair. “German holidaymakers are Ireland’s most active visitors, exploring our historical sites and engaging in multiple events/activities such as hill walking and hiking while on the island, which ties in perfectly with the airports location as the Western gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. We thank Ryanair for their continued support and their vote of confidence in the airport and we hope the service will attract the full support of all in the region as it will require even greater effort on all our behalf’s to ensure the route is a success and is maintained for the longer term and can lead to further expansion into Germany and beyond in the coming years’.
Welcoming the first German visitors to touch down off the flight, Michael Ring, TD, Minister for Rural and Community Development said: “Today brings more good news for Irish tourism as we welcome German visitors to the west of Ireland with Ryanair on their first flight from Cologne. This new direct service will provide a major tourism boost for the region as it brings visitors to the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. For regional Ireland, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism for rural Ireland.”

MORE For further airport information log onto www.irelandwestairport.com and for information on fares and to book flights log onto www.Ryanair.com.