Breen welcomes Aer Lingus U-turn on JFK-Shannon route

June 12th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman and Clare TD Pat Breen has welcomed Aer Lingus’s last-minute U-turn on the Shannon to JFK service. He said that he remains concerned that the route is “under review” and that every effort must be made to market and support the route.

“Aer Lingus did the right thing from both a commercial and regional sense by retaining the JFK service after Delta Airlines announced its decision to cease operations on the same route. However, I am concerned that this service will be held “under review.” It is vital that Aer Lingus continues to market and promote the JFK service in order to ensure its long-term viability. I am also concerned that further job losses could be on the cards for Aer Lingus workers at Shannon Airport and I will be keeping a close eye on developments.”

“The loss of the Shannon to Chicago service is still a serious blow to Shon Airport and the entire mid west region and I would urge Aer Lingus to immediately review this rash decision.”

“I very much welcome the fact that Aer Lingus plans to increase services to Heathrow to three services a day from Shannon from October. As somebody who has campaigned actively for the restoration of full connectivity to Heathrow, this decision demonstrates that the airline was wrong to axe this route in the first place. I hope that this insight will influence any future decisions when Aer Lingus comes to review its operations in the future.”

“Finally, recent announcements by Delta and Aer Lingus highlight the urgency of putting in place the USCBP facility at the Airport. When full US Pre Clearance is up and running it will be a unique selling point for the Airport. That is why it is vitally important that the Government ensures that a marketing fund is ring-fenced to promote the facility and ensure that Shannon Airport can capitalise on this window of opportunity before a similar facility is operational at Dublin Airport.”

“The legislation to give effect to this facility is before the Seanad this week and I would urge the Government to make sure it’s passage through Dail Eireann is facilitated as quickly as possible so that the facility can be operational as planned on the 01st July 2009 next.”