Aer Lingus cancellations damaging to Shannon

Aer Lingus cancellations damaging to Shannon


Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016
Aer Lingus cancelled Shannon flights and moved planes to Dublin – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

Aer Lingus has defended its decision to cancel more than 20 long and short haul flights from Shannon Airport over the past two weeks.

It has been claimed that such cancellations, which have affected thousands of passengers, are doing irreparable damage to the airport.

The airline has repeatedly cancelled its Shannon to New York and Boston services as well as their return legs since October 10th because of a shortage of aircraft. Some flights between Shannon and London Heathrow were also dropped.

The carriers woes began on October 7th when one of its transatlantic fleet was damaged by fire at Orlando Airport in Florida.

On October 14th, following several cancellations that week, the airline confirmed that transatlantic services to and from Shannon would return to normal the following day.

On the same day however, one of the airlines brand new jets was taken out of service in Boston after being damaged in a bird strike.

Aer Lingus Shannon Airbus A330
Two of the airlines Airbus A330 jets were damaged in separate incidents in the US – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Three days later, Shannon’s transatlantic schedule was thrown into chaos again with a total of 14 flights being cancelled up to this morning when the EI-110 service from New York didn’t operate.

An Aer Lingus spokesman said: “These cancellations were due to a technical issue with one of our long haul aircraft meaning we have not had sufficient aircraft available to operate our full long-haul schedule.

When such instances necessitate the cancellation of flights we cancel the flights within our long haul schedule which have the lowest number of bookings on that particular day. In that way we minimise the number guests whose travel plans are disrupted,” the airline said.

The airline cancelled 22 long and short hail flights over the past fortnight

Clare Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley has said that recent scheduling decisions by Aer Lingus have caused significant hassle for thousands of passengers, and potentially damaged the reputation of Shannon Airport.

“This is simply not acceptable. The management at Shannon Airport Authority are doing their best to promote the airport, and enhance the services on offer to passengers who want to fly from the airport.

Aer Lingus cancelling services, and moving aircraft from Shannon to Dublin, does nothing but damage the reputation of the airport, and reduce people’s confidence in the services being offered at Shannon, Deputy Dooley said.

“This cannot happen again. Every flight and every passenger is crucial to Shannon Airport. Aer Lingus need to commit to Shannon,” he added.

Cancelled flights:

October 10th EI111 and 110 New York

October 12th EI135 and 134 Boston

October 13th EI111 and 110 New York

October 14th EI111 and 110 New York

October 17th EI135 and 134 Boston

October 18th EI384 and 385 London Heathrow

October 19th EI111 and 110 New York

October 19th EI384 and 385 London Heathrow

October 20th EI111 and 110 New York

October 21st EI111 and 110 New York

October 23rd EI111 and 110 New York

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.