In a statement this morning, a spokesperson for the Shannon Airport Group said: “We are disappointed that Vueling Airlines will cease its Paris service from both Shannon and Cork Airports in June. We understand the reason for this is in relation to capacity issues at Orly Airport.
“The route launched here at Shannon last September during the winter season, and had been growing in popularity in recent months, signifying the demand for the service.
“Our team worked hard to secure this destination for the region, and we will continue to work with Vueling Airlines to secure further destination options in the future. We are seeing strong recovery due to pent-up demand for travel. Our 2023 summer schedule offers 32 destinations from Shannon Airport to 11 countries across Europe, the UK and USA, and we will now be exploring alternative opportunities with other airlines to provide a Paris service for our passengers.
“We would advise customers booked to fly to Paris from Shannon with Vueling after June 14th, to contact the airline directly.”
Spanish low-cost airline Vueling looks set to pull out of both Shannon and Cork airports this summer.
While a comment is awaited from the carrier, Cork Airport has confirmed that Vueling will cease operations from there in June. Shannon Airport has referred any queries regarding Vueling’s schedule to the airline.
There had been speculation since earlier in the year that the airline would cease services from Shannon to Paris Orly. It now looks like flights from Shannon will end on June 10th just eight months after the service commenced.
Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara said: “This is very disappointing and underlines the transitory nature of route selection by airlines. It highlights the challenges posed for smaller airports like Shannon in securing and retaining routes to major cities and key hubs. International connectivity is critical to Shannon Airport and the Midwest, and I hope that another airline will consider stepping in to operate what appeared to be a popular service for people in the region and beyond.”
The twice weekly flights, which began last September, provided passengers the option of flying to the French capital from Shannon for the first time in almost seven years. Paris was previously served by both Ryanair and Aer Lingus both of whom later axed their routes more than once.
Ryanair had operated a service to Paris Beauvais but pulled it in 2010 despite its success and profitability. The airline did so at the time in protest at the daa plc’s plans to increase passenger charges at Shannon. At the time, Shannon Airport was run by the daa plc.
Aer Lingus took up the slack from the loss of that route by resuming flights to Paris Charles De Gaulle for the first time in almost a decade. The service was however short lived.
Ryanair later restarted the route after the Irish Government abolished its controversial ‘travel tax’ but the carrier later dropped it again citing “aircraft capacity constraints.”
In November 2019, Aer Lingus confirmed that it would add two new routes, including Paris, to its Shannon schedule from 2020. However, with the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, that plan was scrapped.
A comment is awaited from Vueling while Shannon Airport Group has referred any queries regarding Vueling’s schedule to the airline.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Cork Airport said: “Vueling will cease operations from Cork to Paris (Orly), with the last flight operating on June 11. Cork Airport understands that the rationale behind the cessation of services is attributable to capacity issues in Paris (Orly), with the Cork – Paris (Orly) service being one of three routes that will cease operating. Vueling currently operates a twice-weekly service from Cork to Paris (Orly).
The spokesperson also confirmed however that from later this month, Air France service will offer a daily service from Cork to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) while in late September and October, Aer Lingus will also operate twice-weekly services to Charles de Gaulle to cater for rugby fans travelling to the Rugby World Cup.
Vueling is part of the IAG (International Airlines Group) which includes Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and others. The low-cost airline based at Viladecans in Greater Barcelona and is Spain’s largest air carrier by fleet size.