Shannon Airport has been dealt another blow, after it’s emerged that United Airlines does not intend to return its Newark service.
The route, which ordinarily operates daily from April to October, had already been shelved for this year because of pandemic restrictions, but now the airline has informed Shannon Group that it will not return.
It comes as a deal was struck between Aer Lingus and unions over the weekend to avert lay-offs at Shannon, with staff facing pay cuts and reduced hours in line with a fall-off in flights, as well as changes to work practices.
The Chair of the recently formed Shannon Airport Oireachtas Group has raised United Airline’s decision to pull the Newark service with the Taoiseach, who’s due to speak directly with airline management on the matter.
Deputy Joe Carey has been telling Clare FM’s Fiona Cahill that a tougher approach needs to be taken with airlines to ensure balanced regional development.
Shannon Group has issued the following statement:
Monday 15th June 2020: Shannon Group has express disappointment with the decision by United Airlines not to resume its seasonal daily service between Shannon Airport and New York/Newark.
Commenting on the closure a spokesperson for Shannon Group said: “United Airlines has been a long-standing customer of Shannon Airport for 22 years. In that time their popular New York/ Newark service has provided important air connectivity for people and businesses in the Mid-West and along the west coast of Ireland.
“We are disappointed with the decision by United which shows the severity of the devastation in the global aviation sector caused by the Covid-19 crisis. It is widely acknowledged that transatlantic services in particular would be severely impacted and that a recovery would be slow.
“The strong passenger numbers that used the airlines New York/Newark service at Shannon, proves the vibrant market there is for transatlantic flights in and out of this region. We will continue to work with them and all our airline partners as they work to re-establish their broader route network and would be hopeful of seeing a return of United’s Newark service as soon as possible.”
“We are pleased that American Airlines, Delta and Aer Lingus have indicated that they will resume their transatlantic services from Shannon in 2021.
“However, the ability of our region to rebuild in the aftermath of the pandemic is reliant on having a strong airport and It once again highlights the vital need for a strong Government support package to kick-start recovery.”
United Airlines issued the following statement:
Due to the decrease in demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, United will not resume its seasonal daily service between Shannon and New York/Newark.
United will continue serving Ireland, with the Dublin to New York/Newark service reinstated on 7 July 2020, initially with four weekly flights. Customers with existing reservations between Shannon and New York/Newark will be offered alternative flight options where possible or a refund.