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Tag Archives: connectivity

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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Five-year Heathrow slots promise on the table

IN the run up to Willie Walsh’s appearance at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications it was noticeable that while IAG were offering to guarantee that the Aer Lingus Heathrow slots would be used on Irish routes, they were making no commitments to serve Shannon or Cork. However that changed last Thursday, as after a little pressure, Mr Walsh confirmed that he was offering guarantees of five years of connectivity for the two airports. Mr Walsh also said that as it stands Shannon or Cork have no such guarantees, and that a takeover actually gives them greater certainty. While some of the Committee members asked him about giving an even longer guarantee, he insisted there is absolutely no way that he will do so. Early in the sitting Mr Walsh rubbished claims that any guarantees on connectivity would not be enforceable. “I have heard people say they are not worth the paper they are not worth the paper …

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Clare senator to quit FG if Aer Lingus share sold

ALREADY contentious, Shannon based Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy has turned up the political heat regarding the potential sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus, as he has vowed to resign the party whip if the Government does sell to IAG. He made his comments after IAG CEO Willie Walsh addressed the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. Mr Walsh told the Committee that in the event of an IAG takeover, Shannon would get a five-year guarantee of Heathrow connectivity. However, after being quizzed by Senator Mulcahy, he acknowledged that he was not offering any guarantees around the preservation of the Aer Lingus services between Shannon and the US. While Mr Walsh did say that transatlantic services from Shannon have “huge potential” and that the numbers travelling on them are likely to increase in the summertime, this didn’t cut much ice with Senator Mulcahy. In a statement released shortly after the Committee sitting he said, “I cannot support …

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Walsh offers five-year Heathrow guarantee for Shannon

SHANNON and Cork can have guarantees of Heathrow connectivity for five years if IAG buys the State’s share in Aer Lingus, its CEO Willie Walsh pledged at today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications. Clare political figures have expressed concern about the possibility of Shannon losing its vital connectivity to Heathrow in the event of a takeover, but Mr Walsh insisted that the guarantee he is offering is far better than what the airport actually has already. He also claimed that while the concern is at one level understandable, it is actually misplaced, given that the route is profitable. Indeed, he went so far as to say that the current Aer Lingus management could not match the IAG guarantee without drawing the ire of some of the shareholders. While he said IAG is happy to give the guarantees and that there is no reason to pull away from what is a profitable route, he stressed that he will not give …

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