Aer Lingus Regional has confirmed that it is axing it’s Shannon to Manchester service from the end of next month but has denied it’s because Ryanair will begin operations on the same route.
Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann) the franchise flying partner to Aer Lingus, will cease operations between Shannon and Manchester on October 27th, the day after Ryanair commences services on the same route.
Stobart Air has said however it’s decision is not connected with the Ryanair move but according to sources, the airline is “disappointed” that Shannon allowed another airline on the same route.
The news also comes Aer Lingus Regional experienced its third successive record breaking month on record in August including an increase of 49% in passenger numbers at Shannon for the month.
The airline currently operates a three times daily service to Manchester using an ATR42-300 turbo prop aircraft capable of carrying 48 passengers.
While Ryanair will operate a single daily flight, their Boeing 737-800 jets can carry almost four times as many customers on that one flight.
A Stobart Air spokesperson said: “Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, can confirm that its Shannon to Manchester service will cease from 27 October next.
This commercial decision is part of a wider route review and reflects how best we deploy our aircraft across the full network of routes at this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this decision may cause,’ the airline said.
A Shannon Airport spokesman said: “Our winter programme this year will have a total of 31% extra seats on sale over last winter and six new destinations, Paris, Berlin, Fuerteventura, Warsaw, Krakow and Kaunas. But even in a very positive year like this, there are bound to be service changes.”
“Ryanair are selling more capacity than before on Manchester and Stobart Air have a strong focus on growing their Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh flights through the winter months. We look forward to continue to work with them and our other airline partners to build and grow their Shannon network,” the airport spokesman added.
Stobart Air will continue to operate Aer Lingus Regional daily services to Edinburgh, Bristol and Birmingham from Shannon.
While Ryanair will take over the Shannon to Manchester route at the end of next month, it will do so at the expense of it’s Liverpool service which it plans to drop from October 24th.