Business Irish

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Blow to Shannon Airport as Kuwait-US stopovers to end

Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport

Ralph Riegel

Shannon Airport has suffered a blow as lucrative stopovers between Kuwait and the US are set to end.

Kuwait and the US are set to resume direct air flights, which have for three years been making transit stops at the Co Clare airport. The flight travelled between Kuwait and JFK via Shannon to allow passenger and baggage screening - but did not pick up any passengers.

However, the stopover, in operation since 2016, did offer additional spin-off business. Passengers were on the ground for up to two-and-a-half hours partway into their 13-hour flight. One source estimated up to 5pc of the airport's total passenger numbers came via the three-times weekly route.

The passengers were screened by the US's Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection unit, as part of security procedures agreed between Kuwaiti and US authorities.

The stopover arrangement was always meant to be temporary. But Kuwait's chairman of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation ,Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Humoud, has confirmed direct flights will resume.

"Shannon's reputation for efficient and quick handling of transit aircraft, from the smallest to the largest was the reason why Shannon was selected back in 2016 by Kuwait Airways as a temporary transit stop on their Kuwait to JFK service," a spokesperson for Shannon Airport said.

"We would like to thank Kuwait Airlines for using Shannon Airport over the last two-and-a-half years."

Irish Independent

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