Breen represents Government at United Airlines Launch

June 13th, 2013 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen has welcomed the launch of United Airlines seasonal direct service from Shannon Airport to Chicago, which he said is an important link with the 3rd most populous city in the United States.

I was honoured to join James Mueller, United’s Vice President Atlantic & Pacific Sales, Rose Hynes, Chairperson of Shannon Airport and John Hennessy-Niland, Chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Dublin for the ribbon cutting ceremony at Shannon Airport on Friday morning last on behalf of the Government to inaugurate the new service.

During his address at the launch, Deputy Breen welcomed the new service on behalf of the Government. He paid tribute to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar for his support for the Airport and complimented United Airlines for their on-going commitment to serving Shannon. Describing United Airlines as “a good friend of Shannon Airport”, he stated that they had stood by Shannon Airport “through thick and thin”.

He said that “The Airline has built a strong relationship with Shannon Airport over the years and as well as adding this new service to their route network, they operate an all year round service from Shannon Airport to Newark, New Jersey, US.

He went on to say that “I have also built a relationship with the Airline and I had the pleasure of meeting with the Airlines Senior Vice President Hershel Kamen in Washington last year when he assured me of the Airlines commitment to the Airport and their willingness to consider increasing their services into Shannon this year in response to our plans for the Gathering 2013.

I am very pleased that you have now responded very positively to the Gathering 2013. The addition is of this service will bolster Shannon Airport’s transatlantic traffic figures which are expected to increase by 25% this year. “

Deputy Breen added that “A Direct link from Shannon Airport to Chicago is also hugely important in ensuring that this Region benefits from the increase interest in Foreign Direct Investment. The Chicago area is one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies and is home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters and the City is a key player in every sector including manufacturing, information technology and risk management innovation. The provision of this link provides an opportunity to promote this Region and I would urge the IDA to redouble their efforts to promote County Clare as a location for investment in the Chicago Region.

Deputy Breen told the Gathering on the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the departure of former US President John F Kennedy from the Shannon that the Airport had changed significantly over the years and that there is now a new air of confidence about the future of the Airport under the new Airport Structure which has been set up by the Government and following the appointment of the new CEO and Chairperson.

Finally, Deputy Breen said that he hoped that “today’s launch is just the beginning of cementing an even stronger relationship between your Airline and this Airport. Now that you have opened up this new link with Chicago, perhaps you might consider opening up the West Coast and explore the potential for developing a service from Dallas or Texas direct into Shannon Airport.”