Aer Lingus undermining Shannon transatlantic routes – Breen

October 9th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman and Clare TD Pat Breen has expressed his anger at the news that 102 cabin crew jobs will be axed by Aer Lingus at Shannon Airport, and said he will be demanding action from Transport Minister Noel Dempsey in the Dáil next week.

“Shannon/New York Bookings for Aer Lingus to the end of March 2010 are well ahead of bookings for its Dublin/New York service. Aer Lingus got it wrong on Shannon/Heathrow and has got it wrong here again.

“I am angry and shocked at the extent of the job losses proposed by Aer Lingus at Shannon. The airline is effectively wiping out its transatlantic base at the airport with three quarters of cabin crew set to lose their jobs. Once again Shannon staff are being scapegoated by Aer Lingus.

“The future of Aer Lingus’s transatlantic services from Shannon have been under threat for some time. Its failure to sign up to use the new state-of-the-art US Pre Clearance facilities at the airport set the warning bells ringing.

“Reducing the New York service to a thrice-weekly flight out of Dublin Airport will have serious consequences for the business and tourism sectors in the mid west. Daily connectivity to the US is essential to retain the region’s competitiveness.

“I understand that bookings for the Shannon/New York service to the end of March 2010 are ahead of bookings on their Dublin/JFK service. This calls into question the decision by Aer Lingus to reduce its Shannon operations.

“The Government cannot wash its hands of this latest crisis. It has already abandoned the airline and tourism sectors, and its refusal to axe the €10 travel tax has been criticised in recent days by its own Tourism Renewal Group. I will be raising these matters in the Dáil on Tuesday afternoon and demanding action and answers from Minister Dempsey.”