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‘Looming crisis’ at Shannon as passenger numbers fall and Norwegian exit

SHANNON Group has acknowledged that its already disappointing passenger numbers will dip further in 2019. In a statement on Wednesday, low-cost airline Norwegian said it won’t run any services from Shannon for the rest of this year. “Due to the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 Max by the European aviation authorities, our flights to and from Cork and Shannon will be re-routed via Dublin for the remainder of the summer season. Cork is a seasonal route and the reduced availability of aircraft has led to the removal of Shannon services this winter.” Later on Wednesday, Shannon Group also released a statement, which said, “The worldwide grounding of the 737 Max aircraft is having a serious impact for Shannon passengers. “Proportionally, no other Irish airport has such a high level of activity operated by the 737 Max aircraft. At peak, this aircraft type would have operated 13 weekly flights from Shannon to North America. “We now estimate that the loss …

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Expanded Philadelphia service from Shannon

Shannon Airport has welcomed the announcement by American Airlines to expand its Shannon to Philadelphia service in 2018, as the airline continues to build on the growing demand for flights between Shannon and its Philadelphia hub. Welcoming the increased capacity, Andrew Murphy, Managing Director Shannon Airport said: “The airline’s decision is significant and shows that the service is popular with passengers both sides of the Atlantic. We are delighted with the increase which will add an additional 50 return flights and 7,000 passengers. It is a service that continues to grow, with a 60% increase in capacity already added since 2013. “The additional capacity will not only have a positive impact for inbound tourism for the West of Ireland providing a boost for the tourism industry along the Wild Atlantic Way, but will also provide increased opportunities for business connectivity as people using the service will be able to connect at the American Airlines leading hub airports. It is also …

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Norwegian Air International ushers in new era for Shannon

The strength of tourism across the regions will be emphasised on Sunday next when Shannon Airport operates its largest number of transatlantic destinations in 17 years with the commencement of two Norwegian Air International services. Two weekly flights to Stewart International Airport, Orange County – just 90 minutes from New York – and two weekly flights to Providence Green Airport, Rhode Island will be added to the already strong Shannon US schedule. The new services create an unprecedented line-up to the USA from Shannon Airport, with five airlines serving seven destinations. Looking ahead to the commencement of the new services on Sunday, Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said: “This is a remarkable day in many respects. It heralds another new carrier at Shannon and what’s most notable here is that Norwegian Air International, a new transatlantic operator, not only chose Shannon but is introducing the second largest number of flights at any airport here. That clearly demonstrates the strength of …

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Oh là là! The Cliffs of Moher take to the Paris metro

Millions of French commuters are seeing ads for Ireland on large billboard posters as they pass through the busy metro stations of Paris. Tourism Ireland in Paris has teamed up with French airline Transavia to highlight the new daily flight from Paris-Orly Airport to Dublin, which is due to begin on 1 June. The campaign with Transavia includes some 550 ads in the Paris metro highlighting great value fares to Ireland, which are grabbing the attention of commuters with a beautiful image of the Cliffs of Moher – and reminding them why they should put Ireland on their holiday wish-list for 2015. It includes online advertising and a competition on Facebook. This is the first time that Transavia will fly to a northern European destination. Ireland is not currently served from Orly Airport – so the new flight represents an important opportunity for both leisure and business tourism from the all-important French market. France is one of our top four …

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Wallace and Daly appear at Ennis District Court

WEAPONS have been routinely carried through Shannon by the US military, it was claimed at Ennis District Court on Tuesday, during a hearing into a case against TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly. During evidence, Irish Times security analyst, Tom Clonan played a recording taken from a plane at Shannon, which advised soldiers to leave their weapons on board. Also, a former Irish army officer warned that missiles that were brought through the airport on one occasion could have resulted in it being blown up, along with much of the adjacent Shannon Industrial Estate. Mr Wallace, 59, of Clontarf Road, Dublin 3, and Ms Daly, 46, of Elmwood Drive, Swords, Dublin, are accused of climbing a perimeter fence at Shannon Airport and entering a part of the airport to which they were not permitted on July 22 of last year, contrary to the Airport Bylaws of 1994. While the case is being contested, neither have denied that they entered restricted …

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41% of Shannon passengers going to or coming from London

CENTRAL Statistics Office figures show that Shannon had 12,648 flights in all last year, while more than 41% of the airport’s passengers were on their way to or coming from London. Shannon had 1,308,242 passengers in 2013, while this figure does not include the numbers that transited through Shannon, such as US military troops. The figure was up by around three per cent on 2012. While Dublin airports 20.1 million passengers dwarfed the level of traffic at all other Irish airports, Shannon was also a long way below Cork’s 2.25 million. However it was far higher than Knock, which had 665,558 passengers. The most popular route was Shannon-Heathrow, on which 258,250 people travelled. Heathrow is the only European hub to which Shannon has connectivity and many of those travelling on the route would be going to or coming from other parts of the world. London Stansted was the second most popular route, with 183,481 people travelling on it, while 104,736 …

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12 flights cancelled at Shannon due to strike

DUE to industrial action by Aer Lingus cabin crew, 12 flights to and from Shannon today (Friday)  have been cancelled. These were to New York, Boston, Heathrow and Faro and all customers were offered the option of rescheduling their flights or obtaining a refund. While an invitation to talks was issued to Impact (the union representing the cabin crew) this week, spokesman Niall Shanahan said, on Wednesday, it had come too late to prevent disruption. “For certain, the strike will go ahead on Friday. The situation we’re in is that we don’t know when the talks are going to take place, we don’t know what’s on the agenda, other than the company has indicated they want to talk about the rosters issue. We don’t know how fast they can process this and we don’t know to what degree there’s going to be good faith shown in developing a solution to this. With 48 hours to go, it would be unrealistic to expect …

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Dylan Quigley, The Vikings Amercian Football team on hand to help launch the Shannon Boston Aer Lingus daily flights.

Boston-Shannon link commences

SHANNON and America’s most Irish city got a little closer on Wednesday, as Aer Lingus commenced a daily year-round service to Boston. It will also be operating a six-times-a-week New York service, starting on March 30. The increased transatlantic services will build on the momentum achieved in the second half of last year when passenger numbers on US services at Shannon grew by 22%, compared with the same six months in 2012. Wednesday’s flight was a first in that it marked Aer Lingus’ inaugural commercial transatlantic flight with a Boeing 757 aircraft. The airline will be basing two 757s at the Clare airport, replacing a single Airbus A330. Speaking at the launch on Wednesday morning, Clare Deputy Pat Breen noted, “This is a major announcement for Shannon Airport. The year-round seven-times weekly services to Boston and six-times weekly to New York will bolster transatlantic capacity and provides a much-needed winter boost, something which will also be warmly welcomed by tour …

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