Shannon flights to US cut by Aer Lingus
AER Lingus will suspend flights between Shannon and New York and Boston for 11 weeks from January after losing €163m on winter routes between the airport and the US since 1995.
The suspension affects eight flights a week, the airline said yesterday. Aer Lingus will continue to operate the services for the remaining nine months, it added. Other airlines such as Continental and Delta also operate from the airport and the decision immediately drew criticism from businesses operating in the area.
"We would have concerns for the multinationals operating here," said Shannon chamber of commerce chief executive Helen Downes.
"While January and February are not big months in terms of tourism, St Patrick's Day is and we'd have concerns in the tourism sector as well," she added.
The New York and Boston "routes have incurred significant losses during the winter months in 14 of the past 15 years", Aer Lingus said yesterday. "Since 1995 Aer Lingus has lost a total of €163m on its transatlantic flights from Shannon."
"We are very disappointed," said Shannon Development tourism manager Pat Daly. "Year-round transatlantic services into Shannon Airport are vital for business and tourism on the west coast."
Aer Lingus will "make every effort" to rebook flights or organise refunds for passengers who have plans to travel during that period.