Fine Gael Clare TD and Chair of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, Pat Breen, has today (Wednesday) said that the announcement that Aer Lingus is expanding its routes to the UK is yet another boost for Shannon Airport. The airline has announced it is opening a new service from Shannon to Bristol, with additional flights to Birmingham and Manchester.
“It’s another positive day for Shannon Airport as Aer Lingus announces it’s almost doubling its capacity to Birmingham and Manchester, and a new route is being opened between Shannon and Bristol. This is a direct result of the scrapping of the air travel tax, and I must say I am very pleased that both Aer Lingus and Ryanair have responded so positively to this measure announced in the Budget.
“Today’s announcement will lead to the direct creation of 20 new jobs at Shannon Airport, and will no doubt lead to further job creation in the local economy as more visitors are brought to the wider region.
“This comes at the end of a very positive year for Shannon, which was set in train by the Government’s decision to allow Shannon Airport to become a fully independent entity in control of its own affairs. Clearly this is paying off, as more and more airlines announce expansion plans at Shannon.
“As a result of this announcement, Aer Lingus Regional will operate a total of 96 UK regional flights per week out of Shannon next summer. The airline expects to grow passenger numbers to 240,000 next year and to 250,000 in 2015.
“The opening up of the Bristol route provides Shannon Airport with considerable opportunities, in particular in terms of transatlantic traffic. US-bound customers coming from Bristol could use Shannon Airport as a transatlantic stop off point due to the availability of US Pre Clearance facilities in Shannon. This could be a very attractive proposition for many travellers going from the UK to the US.
“We are determined to build on the success of the Gathering by sustaining the increase in visitor numbers to the Shannon region in the year ahead. Today’s announcement from Aer Lingus is another positive step in that regard.”