Aer Lingus has been slammed for its blatant disregard for customers and continuing lack of commitment to Shannon after confirming it will temporarily suspend the airport’s only year-round route to Boston during Easter.
Aer Lingus will suspend operations between Shannon and Boston for all but one day between March 29th and April 8th for what have been described as ‘operational reasons.’
It’s understood however that the airline needs the Boeing 757-200 jet that usually operates the route, for another service from Dublin
As a result, all flights between Shannon and Boston for ten days, with the exception of April 2nd, have been cancelled.
Aer Lingus says it’s in the process of contacting those customers who will be affected by the cancellation and that alternative options are being offered.
A spokesman said: “For operational reasons we have had cancel flights between Shannon and Boston on 10 days between 29th March and 08th April. The flight on 2nd April is not impacted.”
“We are currently communicating directly with customers impacted by the cancellations. We have made a number of alternative travel options available to impacted customers including alternative routings or alternative dates of travel,” the company said.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused and are doing all possible to minimise the disruption to customers’ travel plans,” the airline added.
Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara said: “This is indicative of the attitude Aer Lingus has to Shannon and it’s concerning. Will Dublin continue to be promoted at the expense of Shannon?”
“Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said only recently, when asked about the airlines commitment to Shannon, that Aer Lingus would satisfy the demand at Shannon because if they didn’t, they feared someone else would.”
“This development calls the veracity of that assurance into question. Aer Lingus really needs to show it’s full commitment to Shannon because I would be worried that this attitude would continue to Shannon’s detriment after any takeover by IAG,” Mr McNamara added.
Fianna Fáil’s Transport spokesman Mr Timmy Dooley TD has expressed anger at what he describes as “Aer Lingus continued flippant treatment of Shannon Airport and it’s customers.“
“This goes to show once again how Shannon is treated by Aer Lingus. Why couldn’t the airline make alternative arrangements and lease in an aircraft? This sends a very poor message to regular travellers on this route,” Deputy Dooley said.
“The actions of Aer Lingus management further underline the necessity to retain the State’s shareholding in the airline to protect the connectivity interest of the region. If Shannon is being treated in such a flippant way under the current arrangement one would wonder what might happen if the state shareholding was sold,” he added.