Category: Archive

Resumed Chicago, Heathrow flights a boost for Shannon

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

But that, at least, is better than an entirely negative one.
Shannon Airport has been going through turbulent times in recent years with its relationship with Aer Lingus of particular concern to Shannon boosters.
The Irish airline will be operating a reduced service from New York to the County Clare airport this summer, and there was uproar when the onetime Irish flag carrier mothballed its service from Shannon to Heathrow.
But things are looking up again in that Aer Lingus has decided to partially resume services to the London airport.
The decision has been welcomed by Mayor of Clare, Madeleine Taylor Quinn, who was recently in the U.S. selling Shannon’s finer points to anyone and everyone who cared to listen.
“It will encourage potential investors and foreign multinationals to relocate here. The return of the Heathrow service comes at a time when the economy needs every support available to retain its competitiveness,” said Taylor Quinn.
The good news about the Heathrow route comes on the tail of an equally encouraging turn of events with regards to the Aer Lingus service linking Chicago’s O’Hare Airport with Shannon.
Aer Lingus began to operate three weekly flights from O’Hare to Shannon last week. The resumed direct service will continue until October 24.
Since 2005, all Aer Lingus passengers traveling between Chicago and Shannon had to go through Dublin Airport.
“The reinstatement of the service for the next seven months will provide a welcome boost to the local tourism and business sectors as well as consolidate Shannon’s position as the gateway to the west of Ireland for North American traffic,” said Taylor Quinn.
“Business interests in the U.S. Midwest have for many years invested in the west of Ireland due to the provision of direct flights to the region. Likewise, U.S. tourists have long traveled to the region because of available direct flights.
“The axing of the direct flights served only to prolong an already lengthy journey, which was extremely inconvenient and unnecessary considering Shannon also has a U.S. immigration clearance facility,” she said.
“I am delighted that Aer Lingus has committed itself to developing existing services between Shannon and the U.S. despite the current economic conditions and the corresponding downturn being experienced by the aviation sector.”
As it happens, the resumed service coincides with a current marketing campaign by Tourism Ireland that highlights Ireland’s west coast as an especially desirable destination for U.S. visitors.

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