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Losing Heathrow was Shannon’s own fault – Walsh

WHEN Aer Lingus announced it was removing Heathrow slots from Shannon in 2007 it was a hugely controversial move, strongly opposed by business and political interests in Clare. At the time there was speculation that the move was being made due to a secret agreement hammered out by the Government, as part of the peace process. There was little explanation from the airline itself, beyond saying that it was a commercial decision, something that many in Clare didn’t accept given the relatively high numbers that were using it. However, when Willie Walsh came before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications last week he indicated that Aer Lingus took the decision because a competitor, presumably Ryanair, was being offered more favourable terms. Mr Walsh referred to the matter, saying it may be the reason for the current concern about connectivity. “I can understand the concern that has been expressed, particularly the concern expressed in Shannon because of what happened with …

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