Airline scraps route between Shannon and Boston over Easter
Aer Lingus cancels 10 days of flights
Aer Lingus will temporarily suspend Shannon Airport's only year-round route to Boston over the busy Easter period.
The airline is cancelling flights for all but one day between March 29 and April 8 for what have been described as "operational reasons".
It's understood that the airline needs the Boeing 757-200 jet that usually operates the route for another service from Dublin.
As a result, all flights between Shannon and Boston for 10 days, with the exception of April 2, have been cancelled.
Aer Lingus says it's in the process of contacting those customers who will be affected by the cancellations, and that alternative options are being offered.
A spokesman said: "For operational reasons we have had to cancel flights between Shannon and Boston on 10 days between March 29 and April 8.
"The flight on April 2 is not impacted. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused and are doing all possible to minimise the disruption to customers' travel plans."
The cancellations come on a busy period for travel, with Easter Sunday falling on April 5.
Labour's Clare TD, Michael McNamara, said: "This is indicative of the attitude Aer Lingus has to Shannon and it is concerning. "Will Dublin continue to be promoted at the expense of Shannon?
"Aer Lingus really needs to show its full commitment to Shannon because I would be worried that this attitude would continue to Shannon's detriment."
Read more: What happens if my flights are cancelled?
Fianna Fáil's Transport spokesman Timmy Dooley has expressed anger at the cancellations.
"This goes to show once again how Shannon is treated by Aer Lingus. Why couldn't the airline make alternative arrangements?
"This sends a very poor message to regular travellers on this route.
"The actions of Aer Lingus management further underline the necessity to retain the State's shareholding in the airline to protect the connectivity interest of the region," he added.
Speaking last week Limerick TD Kieran O'Donnell insisted that any takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG must include a plan to grow passenger numbers at Shannon airport.
The Fine Gael TD said: "There are two key aspects to Aer Lingus' role in Shannon: the Heathrow slots and the Transatlantic routes.
"Both are vital for connectivity in the region. These are two areas of critical strategic importance in developing the region."
IAG chief Willie Walsh has promised TDs that concessions were on the cards for regional airports in Cork and Shannon if the takeover goes ahead.
Read more:What happens if my flights are cancelled?