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Shannon Airport seeks recovery package as Donohoe says he will speak to Aer Lingus

 

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'Aer Lingus announced last week it was temporarily laying off its Shannon-based cabin crew.' Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

'Aer Lingus announced last week it was temporarily laying off its Shannon-based cabin crew.' Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Bloomberg

'Aer Lingus announced last week it was temporarily laying off its Shannon-based cabin crew.' Photo: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Shannon Airport is seeking a financial support package from the Government after a collapse in its traffic and the decision by Aer Lingus to lay off staff at the mid-west airport.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has also pledged to speak with Aer Lingus about the matter. If the airport cannot convince Aer Lingus to resurrect its now cancelled London Heathrow service - using the valuable slots at that airport that were a key part of the government's deal to sell Aer Lingus to IAG - the airport faces a huge crisis, according to sources.

Aer Lingus announced last week it was temporarily laying off its Shannon-based cabin crew but, when asked about the slots, a spokeswoman said that the EU Commission suspension of its "use-it-or-lose-it" rule on slots meant the route would not be impacted. But the move has come as a major blow to the airport, which had been given cause for optimism in February after Aer Lingus said it would base a second aircraft at the airport, boosting traffic by 20pc. This boost was badly needed after traffic at the airport had fallen to 2015 levels in 2019, down 8pc to 1.71m. That was well below the 3.5 million passenger level a Booz report, published in 2012 by then minister for transport Leo Varadkar, had found were necessary to retain the current staffing levels of about 210. That report recommended splitting Shannon from DAA.