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Tag Archives: shannon

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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Dooley clashes with Shannon Airport strategy director

THE current Aer Lingus ownership structure gives no guarantees on the provision of Shannon-Heathrow services, group strategy director of Shannon Group, Patrick Edmond said at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communication. Various political interests have called for the State’s shareholding in Aer Lingus to be retained, claiming it ensures connectivity for the Clare airport. However, Mr Edmond said that is not the case, pointing out that in 2007, Aer Lingus management, under the same ownership structure as exists now, transferred all of the Heathrow slots serving Shannon to Belfast. While Clare TD Timmy Dooley challenged him, Mr Edmond stood firm on his observations. In his first contribution to the sitting, Mr Edmond said that if the Government does opt to dispose of its 25% holding, it should make sure it gets some guarantees around connectivity. “We would, therefore, expect that any Government decision to sell the State’s Aer Lingus stake to IAG would be conditional on an enforceable …

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No Shannon guarantee no deal, Minister hints

WHILE he didn’t go as far as saying that there is no prospect of a deal with IAG on Aer Lingus in the absence of guarantees for Shannon, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe stressed that connectivity for the Mid-West will be a very important consideration, when he spoke to The Clare Champion. “We’re looking at all of the consequences that the proposed bid could have for connectivity. I’m very much aware of how important connectivity is for the Shannon region and how important Shannon Airport is. I have said throughout all of this that national connectivity and the particular impact on our regions will be vital if a bid comes in,” he said. There have been claims that even if guarantees for Shannon and Cork are built into an eventual agreement between the State and IAG, they will have no real legal standing. Asked if there are any precedents where guarantees have been given on future connectivity, the minister declined to …

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Council calls for rejection of IAG offer

CLARE County Council has passed a motion calling on the Government not to dispose of its 25.1% share in Aer Lingus. At a special meeting of the local authority on Monday afternoon, the members passed the motion unanimously, while efforts are to be made to get other local authorities in the region to take a similar stand. There have been fears that if the proposed IAG takeover of Aer Lingus proceeds that Shannon will lose its Heathrow connectivity and several of the members called on Clare’s Oireachtas members to make sure this does not happen. Councillor Pat McMahon said that a future loss of connectivity would “choke future investment in Clare and the surrounding counties”, while Councillor Cathal Crowe warned that Shannon’s industrial base could be reduced to “large empty warehouses if these slots go”. Calls for the retention of the State’s holding weren’t confined to the Fianna Fáil members, with Fine Gael’s Mary Howard saying she would “be very, …

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Shannon’s needs “well understood”-Transport Minister

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he is very aware of the importance of connectivity to Shannon Airport and to business in Clare. There have been fears that Shannon’s Heathrow links could be lost if the mooted IAG takeover of Aer Lingus goes through, and while the Minister didn’t explicitly rule out a deal which could see the Clare airport losing connectivity, he stressed that he is very aware of how important the link is, and said connectivity would be an important consideration in making a decision on any bid for the State’s 25.1% stake. In an interview with The Clare Champion, he said, “We’re looking at all of the consequences that the proposed bid could have for connectivity. I’m very much aware of how important connectivity is for the Shannon region and how important Shannon Airport is. I have said throughout all of this that national connectivity and the particular impact on our regions will be vital if a bid …

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Vandalism at Shannon Church

SHANNON’S Ss John & Paul Church was attacked by vandals late on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday. A large rock was thrown through a window and this morning Gardai began an examination of the scene, while an area of the church has been sealed off. Seating has been restricted for masses today, but they are still going ahead at 10am and 12.15pm. Gardai are appealing for any information on the incident and can be contacted at 061 365900.

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Travel agents register concern over Aer Lingus

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has voiced concerns regarding the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG. Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA said, “We would have some reservations with regard to the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by IAG. It is crucial that the existing slots between Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Heathrow Airport are protected and maintained. We realise that a long term agreement to this effect may be difficult to secure, but everything that can be done should be done now”. Mr Dawson continued, “The ITAA would see value for money and greater choice for Irish consumers as being a vital part of the negotiations and central to any agreement reached. It is our opinion that the Aer Lingus brand and all that it encompasses is worth more than the €1.35 billion currently proposed. Aer Lingus is a worldwide brand viewed by many as providing a friendly and safe service both at home and abroad. “We would …

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