New operator on Shannon to Manchester route

New operator on Shannon to Manchester route

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Aer Lingus Regional/Stobart Air ATR-42
Stobart Air will drop it’s Shannon to Manchester service from today – © Pat Flynn 2014

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.

Photo by Pat Flynn.
Ryanair will operate a daily service to Manchester – © Pat Flynn 2014

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.

© Pat Flynn 2014
Air Transat will not operate it’s seasonal Toronto service from Shannon next year – © Pat Flynn 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.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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