Shamrock will not be flying from Shannon

June 17th, 2010 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Spokesman and Clare TD Pat Breen has said that his worst fears have been realised following the decision by Aer Lingus to suspend transatlantic services from Shannon Airport from January to March 2011.

“I am sadly not surprised at this news. Only last month I was very concerned that Aer Lingus was considering discontinuing all-year round transatlantic services from Shannon Airport when it announced new short-haul routes from the airport but failed to outline its long-haul plans.

“For the first time in our history, the Shamrock will not be flying out of Shannon Airport for St Patrick’s Day next year.
“This is a body blow for the travelling public in the west, and for multinational businesses based in the region. US foreign direct investment makes a huge contribution to the mid west. Some 110 US multinationals are based there, employing 11,000 people. A significant number of these companies rely on Aer Lingus’s transatlantic services for transport and connectivity.

“This will also pose significant problems for the IDA and Shannon Development in their efforts to attract additional US based multinationals to the area.

“The Government cannot abdicate responsibility for this news. Ever since the introduction of Open Skies and in the face of declining passenger traffic numbers through Shannon Airport, the Government has failed to support the airport by providing the additional marketing support.

“While I acknowledge and welcome the commitment of both US carriers Continental and Delta Airlines to Shannon, I am very disappointed that our own airline has taken this decision. Aer Lingus was very slow to support the new US Pre-Clearance facility at Shannon. This latest decision begs the question as to what commitment if any Aer Lingus has to serving the transatlantic market out of Shannon in the future.”