United to drop Shannon/Chicago route in 2018

United to drop Shannon/Chicago route in 2018

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

United Airlines will axe it’s Shannon to Chicago in 2018.

The airline introduced the seasonal route in 2013 and linked the mid-west airport with United’s hub at Chicago O’Hare International.

News that the carrier will drop the route next year follows another announcement in July when United confirmed plans to suspend operations on its New York/Newark route for almost fifteen weeks over the winter months.

An airline spokesman has confirmed: “United will discontinue its seasonal service between Shannon and Chicago/O’Hare. The last service operated on September 6, 2017 (westbound).”

“We have regretfully taken this decision because of the route’s poor financial performance. We will contact customers with bookings to re-accommodate and provide refunds where possible. We apologise for any inconvenience,” the airline added.

Commenting on the latest news Andrew Murphy Managing Director, Shannon Airport said: “We are disappointed by United’s decision to cease its seasonal Shannon/ Chicago service next year despite our best efforts and those of Tourism Ireland to reach an agreement with the airline.

United is and remains a core and valued customer. We remain very committed to working with them and our other airline partners to continue to provide services and access to key markets. Finding a replacement carrier for the Chicago service will be a priority as will maximising the potential for Shannon in the coming years.”

Mr Murphy added: “This year Shannon has its largest number of transatlantic destinations for 17 years as five airlines (Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Norwegian Air and United) operate to seven destinations, including services to New York, Newark, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Providence, and Stewart. With recently announced new services from Shannon to Toronto with Air Canada and Barcelona with Ryanair, we remain confident for the future.

Air Service connectivity to key U.S. hubs is vital to grow FDI investment and tourism in the West of Ireland. With over 40% of U.S. FDI in Ireland located within the greater Shannon catchment area and Shannon being a key International Gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, Shannon Airport is fully committed to improving connectivity. To this end we will be meeting with a range of stakeholders, including the Department of Transport in the coming days to outline our strategy to help achieve the goals of the National Planning Framework (NPF) which aims to spread development towards regional cities,” Mr Murphy added.

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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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