An alliance of Mayors and Cathaoirligh in the Mid-West have appealed to the Government to ensure a strong Aer Lingus presence continues at Shannon Airport.
On Tuesday, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr Mary Howard (FG) hosted Cllr Patrick O’Connor-Scarteen (FG), Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, at Áras Contae an Chláir in a meeting of the Alliance of Mayors and Cathaoirligh to consider the decision by Aer Lingus to close its cabin crew base at Shannon Airport.
Mayors and Cathaoirligh of Clare County Council (Cllr Howard), Galway City Council (Cllr Mike Cubbard IND), Galway County Council (Cllr James Charity IND), Limerick City and County Council (Cllr Michael Collins IND), Tipperary County Council (Cllr Michael Smith FF) and Kerry County Council (Cllr O’Connor-Scarteen) form the alliance.
In a joint statement to The Clare Echo, Cllr Howard and Cllr O’Connor-Scarteen detailed that they have appealed to the Government to maintain a strong Aer Lingus presence at Shannon Airport and shared their “serious concerns regarding the decision to close the cabin crew base in Shannon and the way that this message was delivered to loyal Aer Lingus staff with many years of service.
“Ireland is an island nation, and we need to ensure continued international connectivity, especially with the west coast of Ireland. The connectivity that Aer Lingus brings is critically important to every aspect of our lives, and has particular strategic importance for tourism, enterprise and industry. It is now essential that we secure guarantees that the Shannon-Heathrow slots will continue with early-morning departures and late-evening arrivals. These slots must continue beyond 2022, given their importance for economic development within the region,” the statement outlined.
Guarantees must also be provided for the reinstatement of the Shannon to New York and Shannon to Boston routes along with clarity on the proposed routes from Shannon to Paris and Barcelona which were announced in November 2019.
They added, “We will push the Government to impress upon Aer Lingus the importance of reversing the decision to close its base in Shannon, and to seek guarantees about these key strategic routes in future discussions with Aer Lingus. We call on the Government to produce an integrated national aviation policy and a roadmap for the future of aviation”.