Shannon will be ready to welcome newly inaugurated President Joe Biden should he make a stop-over at the Mid-West airport.
President Biden is expected to travel to England in June for the G7 Summit however, while Air Force One has the range to fly to the UK without making a fuel stop-over, there is a chance that the President might decide to visit Ireland before or after the event possibly to visit his Irish relatives.
Commenting on such speculation a spokesperson for Shannon Group said: “We have been fortunate to have been able to welcome the President elect, Mr Biden, to Shannon on numerous occasions in the past.
However, at this time we are not aware of any scheduled visit. His most recent visit to Shannon was in September 2017, when he had just finished his time as US Vice President.”
“When US air travel resumes, which it will, we would love the opportunity to do what we do best at Shannon, which is to extend a warm Irish welcome back to the President elect Joe Biden as the 46th President of the U.S.
“Shannon Airport has been fortunate to have welcomed every US President since the famous John F. Kennedy visit in 1963. Eleven US presidents in all, have landed at Shannon Airport, a record which very few airports in the world, outside the States can claim. They are all commemorated in a special exhibition gallery on the walls of our airport transit lounge.”
Among these are John F. Kennedy who made a poignant speech on his departure from Shannon on 29th June 1963 when quoting the words of a poem he said he wanted to ‘…come back and see old Shannon’s face again.’
“We have built on these historic links and over the years our US ties have continued to strengthen. In 2009 Shannon became the first airport in the world outside the Americas’ to have full US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pre-clearance facilities for airlines travelling to the USA. This means visitors arriving in the US are considered to be domestic passengers, saving them considerable time. The following year in 2010, the airport became the first airport outside the US to have pre-clearance for private jet aircraft and Shannon now handles a significant portion of Europe’s business jet traffic from a transit perspective.
“Last October Shannon Airport marked the 75th anniversary of the first scheduled transatlantic commercial passenger flight from the US to an Irish land airport. The historic service paved the way for the Shannon region to become a transatlantic gateway, giving rise to foreign direct investment and tourism, which together have become a huge driver of the regional and national economy. It’s particularly timely that we recognise this as it shows the importance of aviation and Shannon generally and how essential it is to protect this strategic state asset and ensure it takes up where it left off once we start to emerge from COVID.”
Every US President since (and including) John F. Kennedy have flown in or out of Shannon Airport these are: Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barak Obama and Donald Trump.