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Tag Archives: Shannon airport

Shannon: The man behind the vision

DR Brendan O’Regan is always spoken about as the most central figure in the development of Shannon, following a glittering career. On the day marking the 70th anniversary of the first transatlantic into Shannon Airport, it is appropriate to recall his invaluable contribution to the airport and the country at large. Born in Sixmilebridge in 1917, his father bought the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis and urged the young Brendan to go into hotel management. He made his name managing the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon and the St Stephen’s Green Club in Dublin, before being appointed as catering comptroller at the Foynes Flying Boat base. Two years later, he was transferred to the still new Rineanna Airport and he would open the world’s first duty-free shop, selling Irish whiskey to arriving passengers. Sent to a conference on the post-war Marshall Plan, he was struck by inspiration on the way home. “Because I knew that my report for the Irish Government …

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Shannon: 70 years of transatlantic flying today

SHANNON International Airport is one of Ireland’s greatest success stories. It has had a pivotal role in the development of the Mid-West and even further afield; opening the doors to industry and employment and underpinning the economy of the region. Shannon Airport has given birth to a town of its name and helped, directly and indirectly, to support small communities, which otherwise would have slipped into oblivion. Having an international airport on our own doorstep is a huge advantage. It has set County Clare apart from other western counties, as a place where journeys begin and end, where passengers transit en route to and from far-flung places. On Thursday, May 18, 1939, the first aircraft to land at the then Rineanna Airport was the Irish Air Corps’ Aero Anson A43. Less than two months later, the first passenger aircraft landed at Rineanna on July 11, a Belgian airliner (a tri-motor Savoia Marchetti S-73 of Sabena). However, it was the first …

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Scout’s honour, it’s Mick’s rope

THE rope ladder used by TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly to gain access to an unauthorised area of Shannon Airport is set for a new life with the scouts in Clare. On Wednesday evening, the infamous ladder was presented to the 1st and 4th Clare Scout Group, following an order by Judge Patrick Durcan made in Ennis District Court. Both Deputies Wallace and Daly were convicted of entering a restricted area of the airport on July 22 last year and during the trial, Deputy Wallace had asked for the rope ladder to be returned to him. This week, Ennis District Court heard an application for the rope ladder, which had been in Shannon Garda Station since the trial, to be forfeited permanently. Karen Kelleher, county programming co-ordinator with Clare Scouts, said they are delighted to receive the rope ladder. “We didn’t know that this was going to happen. All donations to Clare Scouts are always gratefully accepted.” While the …

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British public reminded of Clare

Tourism Ireland in Britain is partnering with Aer Lingus this month, to promote flights to Shannon Airport. Advertisements are highlighting “the untamed coast of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way” and good value fares to Shannon for the autumn and winter months. The ads – which feature a wonderful image of the Cliffs of Moher – are running in major titles including The Independent, The Times, the Guardian, Observer, Metro and London Evening Standard. Working closely with airlines and airports to build demand for flights is a key priority for Tourism Ireland. Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s head of Great Britain, said: “We are delighted to co-operate with Aer Lingus to drive demand for its service from London Heathrow to Shannon, to help grow tourist numbers to Co Clare and the West of Ireland. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. “Great Britain is the largest …

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Aer Lingus delivers more seats at Shannon

Aer Lingus has given Shannon Airport a boost with 55,000 additional seats on services for summer 2016. The increases are to Heathrow (35,000 seats), Faro (10,000 seats) and Malaga (10,000 seats). This is in addition to their 20% increase in capacity announced earlier this year for both Heathrow and Lanzarote, which kicks in for the 2015 winter season and will see 25,000 extra seats on London and 1,300 seats to Lanzarote. Aer Lingus’ for summer 2016 plan spell good news for people seeking a summer sun holiday, as the airline responds to market demand by increasing services to Faro from three to four flights weekly and Malaga from two to three flights weekly. Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey said, “This is a really positive move for what are very popular services from Shannon. London Heathrow is our busiest service and the increased capacity on the larger A320 aircraft here is very much in response to demand. In all, Aer Lingus …

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Defying gales to make inaugural flight

MOST people in Clare will have grown up without thinking anything unusual about aircraft crossing the Atlantic from North America to Shannon every day of the week but when the first passenger plane made the journey on October 24, 1945, it was a massive event. ‘TRANS OCEAN FLIGHTS’ screamed the lead headline on the following weekend’s Clare Champion, with sub-headlines of ‘New Air Service to Rineanna’ and ‘Clippers Defy Gale’ beneath it. The accompanying report said, “The Flagship ‘London’ of the American Airlines system landed at Rineanna at 3.30pm on Wednesday, thus inaugurating the land plane passenger service between America and Europe. Taking off from La Guardia Airport at New York on Tuesday night and calling at Gander Airport in Newfoundland, it flew the North Atlantic in half a gale in eight hours and twenty minutes. It was followed an hour later by a second Skymaster of the same Line. “The Irish and American flags fluttered from the fuselage of …

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Hynes at the helm in Shannon

A LITTLE over three years ago, Rose Hynes was asked to chair a working group on Shannon Airport, which was having its worst year since the 1980s. She was subsequently appointed chairman of Shannon Group and has been at the helm as the new entity has made a solid start, with passenger numbers growing again after years of decline. When Shannon was under the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) structure, there were frequent complaints that its interests were way down the list of priorities but some felt the financial protection of being part of a wider group offered a level of protection. Separation working Now, Ms Hynes believes splitting it from the wider group has been the major factor in the ending of the long decline. “I think it was a hugely positive thing that the Government took the step and set up the taskforce because, that time, the numbers were going only one way – collapsing. I think if Shannon …

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Shannon’s 70 years of transatlantic aviation

This month, 70 years ago the first transatlantic flight touched down at Rineanna Airport – now Shannon International Airport and to mark this milestone, The Clare Champion has published a special supplement. Among the contributors is Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who writes: IN 1945, Shannon Airport’s geographic position between Europe and America made it an ideal stepping stone between the old and new worlds. On October 24 this year, the airport celebrates the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight from the US to Shannon. I would like to acknowledge this major achievement and congratulate the airport on achieving yet another milestone in its illustrious history. American Overseas Airlines was the operator 70 years ago of that historic first flight and today, American Airlines, its successor, flies from Shannon to Philadelphia. Today, Shannon Airport is a vital access point in the transatlantic journey of many passengers, with its location on the Wild Atlantic Way making it even more attractive to …

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