Agreement secures future of Aer Lingus Shannon staff and restoration of transatlantic services – Breen

November 20th, 2013 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, has today (Wednesday) welcomed the news that agreement has been reached between Aer Lingus management and its Shannon based crew which averts the closure of the airline’s Shannon base and paves the way for the restoration of its winter transatlantic services.

“I am delighted that agreement has been reached between both sides, which has averted the closure of the airline’s Shannon base. I have always argued that the airline’s Shannon based staff are its greatest asset and their experience will now prove invaluable to Aer Lingus on the B757’s which the airline is planning to use on transatlantic routes into Shannon Airport.

“Today’s news brings certainty for the Shannon based cabin crew and their families, which I am very happy about as many of them were fearful for their futures. The end of this dispute also brings certainty for the airline’s customers, paving the way for the restoration of winter transatlantic services, which is good news for Shannon Airport and for the tourism and business interests throughout the region.

“Following years of decline, the latest passenger traffic figures for Shannon Airport are testimony to this Government’s decision to set up an independent Airport Authority. Figures for October confirm the trend of growth at the airport for the fifth consecutive month, with a 5% increase in passenger numbers. A combination of new seasonal services and the Gathering bolstered transatlantic traffic at the airport by 40% during the summer period. The good news is that this trend of growth in the transatlantic market has continued into October with local hotels reporting a 4% increase in transatlantic visitors.

“The restoration of the winter services will further bolster transatlantic passenger growth and will provide a major boost for hotels and B&Bs and other tourist service providers in the region.

“It is important now that these services are supported and I would encourage travellers who intend to go to the US to use Shannon Airport as their point of travel. I would also encourage Aer Lingus, Fáilte Ireland and the various tourism agencies to market these services to ensure that Shannon Airport is restored as the gateway to the West of Ireland for US visitors.”