Shannon Airport announces first ever direct flights to Vienna
Vienna service is a welcome break for airport hit by Boeing 737 Max groundings, writes Pól Ó Conghaile
Lauda, the low-cost Austrian airline owned by Ryanair, is to launch direct flights between Vienna and Shannon Airport next year.
The new route will commence from the end of March 2020, operating twice weekly as a summer service, according to Shannon Group.
As we publish, prices are quoting from €33.99 to €58.99 each-way for next April on ryanair.com and laudamotion.com.
The news follows the launch of another Lauda service between Ireland West Knock and Palma de Mallorca, also due to take off next March, earlier this month.
Andrew Murphy, Shannon Airport's Managing Director, welcomed the news:
“This is very positive news for Shannon as not alone do we get a scheduled service to one of Europe’s most visited cities and a strong inbound market for tourists to Ireland, but we are also getting a new carrier on the runway here as well.
The route brings some much-needed good news for Shannon, which has shed over 120,000 seats this year due to the loss of Boeing 737 Max flights with Norwegian and Air Canada.
Ryanair has also said it will discontinue Shannon services to Bristol, East Midlands and Ibiza from January 2020.
“The decision by Lauda is a vote of confidence in the region by the airline and will deepen Shannon’s impact on tourism in the region," Mr Murphy said.
The new route was secured with the aid of Budget 2020's increased route development fund for regional airports, along with Tourism Ireland, whose CEO Niall Gibbons pointed out the benefits to inbound tourism.
"Today’s announcement is good news for tourism to the west coast of Ireland – expanding the options for Austrian holidaymakers to come and experience the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way," he said.
"As an island, the importance of convenient flights cannot be overstated.”
Lauda was founded by Formula One champion Niki Lauda in 2018. Although based in Vienna, it is today a 100pc-owned subsidiary of Ryanair Holdings.
The airline flies to 38 destinations in Europe, including a service from Dublin to Vienna.