Aer Lingus has confirmed it will re-introduce flying from Shannon in March to JFK and Boston with 14 flights per week to the USA.
Speaking about the new Summer 2022 schedule, Reid Moody, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer said
“This is an ambitious schedule for Summer 2022 and an important step for the airline, and the country, as we reconnect Ireland to the world. We know from our customer research that Irish people are very keen to get back flying, and we certainly are looking forward to welcoming them on board again.
“Month by month, we can see more and more people taking to the skies again. We’re confident that the demand is there for travel next year, and that is reflected in our announcement today.
Shannon Group CEO Mary Considine has warmly welcomed today’s announcement by Aer Lingus to resume transatlantic services from Shannon Airport to New York and Boston next year and the continuation of its Heathrow service from Shannon.
“Today is a great day for the West of Ireland economy. It is great to get these strategic routes back which support thousands of jobs across the tourism and industry sectors. Shannon to JFK and Boston are key services so to see Aer Lingus recommence these routes next year is hugely positive.
These are essential routes not just from an inbound and outbound tourism viewpoint, but they are critical also from a business travel perspective. Over 40% of US FDI companies are located within Shannon Airport’s catchment and these services very much underpin that investment,” she said.
Ms Considine also welcomed the airline’s continuation of the vital Heathrow service. “We are delighted to have the Heathrow service back here already and its continuation is very important to Shannon Airport and the wider region. This is an essential strategic route that provides vital hub connectivity for our entire region.”
She added: “It’s still early days in our recovery but we are very encouraged by the response of our airline partners, including Aer Lingus today. This is a very significant statement regarding the importance of the Shannon market on key international routes and a most welcome and timely commitment as we continue our COVID recovery. We have no doubt that these flights will be hugely supported from across the region and we look forward to working closely with Aer Lingus to ensure the success of their services.”
Ms Considine said that as challenging as the pandemic was for the airport and its staff, the time was spent wisely with the introduction of improvements across the Shannon campus that will ensure an enhanced customer experience in recovery.
“Our new airport security screening system, for example, will ensure a quick, smoother and easier experience for our passengers, halving the time they spend in this area. This, along with our combined USA TSA and Europe security screening, gives Shannon a unique edge over other airports internationally and lives up to our brand promise to make our airport experience even easier,” says Ms. Considine.
Clare Fianna Fáil Senator Timmy Dooley has also welcomed the announcement .
Senator Dooley said: “Today’s announcement by Aer Lingus is hugely welcome. This opportunity will provide business, hospitality and tourism operators in the region a great sense of relief as they plan ahead for 2022. Equally importantly it will give confidence in the airport’s future viability to all those in Clare and the wider region who work in or use the Airport for business or leisure.
“As Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport in the Seanad, I have fought the battle over the past number of months for Shannon to be included in a funding round to help the airport incentivise the return of airlines on key strategic routes. We were successful in convincing the government to provide this money as part of Budget 2022 and it’s now clear that those efforts are paying dividends in re-establishing vital connectivity.
“It’s my hope that Aer Lingus will continue this positive news with the reestablishment of an early morning and late evening connection to Heathrow Airport, which is such an important driver of economic activity in Clare and the midwest region.