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Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services at Shannon Airport under threat

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Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services are at risk of being moved from Shannon Airport from the UK.

Two Aer Lingus Airbus A321 long-range craft have been grounded at Shannon Airport since March as a result of COVID-19, they had been in action servicing routes to London, New York and Boston up until then.

The Irish Times has reported that Aer Lingus sought tenders for the craft three weeks ago from UK regional airports who have expressed interest. Edinburgh, Manchester and four other UK airports are said to be keen on acquiring the craft. An agreement has yet to be reached between any party.

Were a deal to materialise it would represent a massive setback for Shannon Airport, the west of Ireland and industries such as tourism, hospitality and transport. Delta and United Airlines have previously confirmed they will not resume US services from Shannon in 2021. Commercial conditions could still allow routes to Heathrow and the US to resume.

Talks between Shannon Group and Aer Lingus on the resumption of transatlantic and Heathrow flights are ongoing, The Clare Echo has learned.

Shannon Group have stressed the need for the key recommendations of the Taskforce for Aviation recovery to be implemented urgently and highlighted how successful the “long established” Aer Lingus services at Shannon have been.

“The findings of this report must be implemented urgently so that these services are underpinned and we can begin the recovery with our airlines partners in line with Government objectives on re-building connectivity and capacity in the regions,” a spokesman told The Clare Echo.

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus told The Clare Echo that they would not be commenting on the matter.

Senator Timmy Dooley (FF) described the potential relocation of the Aer Lingus aircraft as “very worrying” and highlighted the impact it would have on connectivity to both the UK and the US.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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