The new has also been welcomes by the collective Chambers of Commerce of Shannon, Ennis, Galway and Limerick as well as the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).
A spokesperson for the group said: “The return of connectivity to such accessible airports as Newark and Philadelphia, and the onward linkages they offer, will be widely welcomed by the many business in the region and by the tourism and hospitality sector, and signal the commencement of linkages with a critical market for both sectors.
“Shannon’s transatlantic services were well supported in the past and it is important now for people in the region to get behind United’s and American Airlines’ Shannon routes to ensure their success; this will give confidence to other transatlantic operators to return.
“These popular routes provided important transatlantic air connectivity for people and businesses in the Mid-West and along the west coast of Ireland prior to the pandemic; we look forward to seeing a high take-up on both services when they return.
“As outlined in our presentations to Ministers Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton, and to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, route restoration will not happen organically. Airlines and airports will need to be supported in their efforts to restore traffic to Irish airports. That is why we have prepared and presented a financial model to Government that could be used to encourage airlines to restore traffic, to 2019 levels, into regional airports during the recovery period.
“With Budget 2022 imminent, we will continue our linkages with Government to ensure that the multi-annual funding Shannon and regional airports require to restore connectivity to pre-pandemic levels is made available,” the spokesperson added.
Earlier: American Airlines will resume transatlantic operations from Shannon Airport to Philadelphia next May and will operate a larger aircraft than previously on the route.
According to the airline’s website, flights to Philadelphia are available from Shannon from early next year but these will travel via other airports including New York, Boston or London Heathrow.
However, the non-stop service from Shannon is scheduled to commence on May 9th.
The carrier had previously flown a Boeing 757 aircraft on the route but the company has since retired the ageing planes. Instead, AA will operate the larger Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner for the service providing economy, premium economy and business classes.
After airlines stopped using larger wide-bodied aircraft on US routes from Shannon, the jet of choice was the Boeing 757. American Airlines, Delta, United Airlines and Aer Lingus all flew 757’s to the States from Shannon and so the airport was dubbed ‘757 Heaven’.
For the first time, an airline will operate a larger Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the North Atlantic route from Shannon.
An American Airlines spokesman said: “We’re already selling tickets between Shannon and Philadelphia starting May 9. The route is scheduled to operate with a Boeing 787-8 aircraft with three classes – Main, Premium Economy and Business.”
The return of American Airlines comes just weeks after another US carrier, United, confirmed plans to resume services to Newark, New Jersey next March.
A spokesperson for Shannon Group said; “We have been in constant discussions with American Airlines and all our airline partners on the resumption of transatlantic services for 2022. These efforts will intensify as we continue to build back air services and look to restore our connectivity lost to the pandemic.
We know it will take a number of years for aviation to recover to pre-pandemic levels, but with 18 Ryanair winter services secured to Spain, Italy, Hungary, the UK, and Scotland, six of which are new routes, and the Shannon/Heathrow service, we are pleased with what has been achieved to-date for Shannon Airport.”