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Aer Lingus have confirmed that transatlantic services at Shannon Airport are to resume in March while the vital route to Heathrow is to continue.

As reported in The Clare Echo, flights to Boston and New York from Shannon can be booked via Aer Lingus’ online sales portal with the airline and Shannon Group CEO, Mary Considine confirming on Thursday that the services will resume in March.

In announcing their summer schedule for 2022, Aer Lingus confirmed that services from Shannon Airport to Boston and New York will resume. In comparison, Aer Lingus will have eleven transatlantic routes from Dublin Airport.

Confirmation of a permanent return of the Shannon to Heathrow service has also been issued by Aer Lingus.

Considine hailed the announcement as “a great day for the west of Ireland economy”. She stated, “It is great to get these strategic routes back which support thousands of jobs across the tourism and industry sectors. Shannon to JFK and Boston are key services so to see Aer Lingus recommence these routes next year is hugely positive. These are essential routes not just from an inbound and outbound tourism viewpoint, but they are critical also from a business travel perspective. Over 40% of US FDI companies are located within Shannon Airport’s catchment and these services very much underpin that investment”.

A permanent return of the Heathrow service was welcomed by the CEO. “Its continuation is very important to Shannon Airport and the wider region. This is an essential strategic route that provides vital hub connectivity for our entire region.”

She added: “It’s still early days in our recovery but we are very encouraged by the response of our airline partners, including Aer Lingus today. This is a very significant statement regarding the importance of the Shannon market on key international routes and a most welcome and timely commitment as we continue our COVID recovery. We have no doubt that these flights will be hugely supported from across the region and we look forward to working closely with Aer Lingus to ensure the success of their services”.

Chief Strategy and Planning Officer with Aer Lingus, Reid Moody remarked that their summer schedule for next year was “ambitious” and represented “an important step for the airline, and the country, as we reconnect Ireland to the world. We know from our customer research that Irish people are very keen to get back flying, and we certainly are looking forward to welcoming them on board again. Month by month, we can see more and more people taking to the skies again. We’re confident that the demand is there for travel next year, and that is reflected in our announcement today”.

Clare TD, Joe Carey (FG) praised the efforts of newly appointed Shannon Group Chair, Pádraig Ó Céidigh “for hitting the ground running” and the “relentless work” of CEO, Mary Considine in helping to restore the routes. He was hopeful further routes would be announced in the near future.

Carey said, “Confirmation from Aer Lingus that they are to continue the crucial Heathrow service is really important news. The Shannon to Heathrow service provides global connectivity for the business traveller in the Mid-West and Western Regions while also providing vital tourism back haul traffic. It’s an essential strategic route for our entire region and I look forward to the three daily return routes incorporating an early morning and late evening service being re-instated in the coming months. The Aviation Industry has taking a huge hammering throughout Covid and there is still a long way to travel but the return of Aer Lingus transatlantic services to Shannon Airport together with the vital Heathrow route is extremely positive news”.

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