Aer Lingus Shannon Heathrow Route Flying – BREEN.

May 20th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has welcomed UK CAA figures for the Shannon Heathrow Route which show that the Shannon Heathrow Route is performing exceptionally well in spite of the global airline recession. Deputy Breen claims that the success of the route calls into question Dermot Mannion’s decision to remove the service from this Region in the first place and he is now calling on Aer Lingus to increase the frequency of their flights on the route by adding an additional service from Shannon which would increase their service from twice-daily to three times a day and would Deputy Breen claims “improve the Airlines bottom line and restore full connectivity to the Region.”

Deputy Breen’s call follows the release of the UK CAA figures for the month of April which confirm that the reinstated Aer Lingus Shannon Heathrow route is being well supported in its full month in re-operation in spite of a recession in the global airline industry.

“Aer Lingus operated a total of 52 flights on the route for the month of April with a seating capacity of 18,096 seats. This equates to a load factor of 62.8%.”

“These figures are very positive and are in stark contrast to the situation that Aer Lingus is experiencing at their Belfast Base, where they are set to scale back on their services this winter with one of the three planes based being withdrawn and flights to Faro, Barcelona, Milan, Rome and Paris suspended for four months from the autumn. The airline established its base in Belfast with a €150m investment in December 2007.”

“It also calls into question Dermot Mannion’s decision to remove the service from this Region in the first place when he had a ready made market of up to 360,000 passengers here in the Mid-West.”

“The return of this Service is a huge boost to this Region, however, it is now very important that Aer Lingus builds on the success of this route and they should increase their frequency of flights from two a day to three a day.”

“The market is here to support the service, over 360,000 passengers; the figures for the month of April show prove that the service is flying and it is also in the best long-term interest of the airline itself.”