Aer Lingus Regional will axe it’s Shannon to Manchester service from today just a day after low cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair commenced operations on the same route.
Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann), franchise flying partner to Aer Lingus, has said however that it’s decision to withdraw its Manchester flights is not connected with Ryanair taking up the popular route.
Stobart Air had operated a three times daily service to Manchester using an ATR42-300 turbo prop aircraft capable of carrying 48 passengers. This service will cease today.
While Ryanair will operate a single daily service, their Boeing 737-800 jets can carry almost four times as many customers on that one flight. The new flight will also replace a three times weekly Liverpool service.
The new service, which commenced yesterday, will also take up to 30 minutes less than previously with the Stobart Air flights and is expected to be popular with soccer fans.
A spokesperson said: “Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, can confirm that its Shannon to Manchester service will cease from 27 October.”
“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: “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.
Meanwhile, Shannon Airport is set to lose it’s only direct link with Canada after Air Transat confirmed that it will not operate it’s seasonal service to Toronto in 2015.
It’s understood that Air Transat suffered an 30% drop in it’s Shannon business in 2014.
An airline spokeswoman said: “Air Transat will no longer offer flights to Toronto from Shannon in 2015. These changes are the result of new orientation of our network, tied to fluctuations in demand.”
An airport spokesman said: “We are having discussions on an ongoing basis with airports and airlines with regard to possible opportunities on our transatlantic network, including on Canadian services following Air Transat’s decision not to return with its 18 flights that operated from June to the middle of October last year.”