Mid-West Chambers and Irish Hotels Federation Statement re United and American Airlines Planned Return to Shannon

The collective Chambers of Commerce of Shannon, Ennis, Galway and Limerick and the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) welcome the news that the transatlantic connections from Shannon Airport to New York/Newark and Philadelphia offered by United and American Airlines are scheduled to resume from March and May 2022 respectively on a seasonal basis.

“The return of connectivity to such accessible airports as Newark and Philadelphia, and the onward linkages they offer, will be widely welcomed by the many business in the region and by the tourism and hospitality sector, and signal the commencement of linkages with a critical market for both sectors.

“Pre-pandemic, Shannon Airport had always punched above its weight in terms of the transatlantic services that it operated and was the envy of many larger cites in Europe with little or no transatlantic connectivity. This is down to the team at Shannon Airport who work consistently with the airlines. Shannon’s transatlantic services were well supported in the past and it is important now for people in the region to get behind United’s and American Airlines’ Shannon routes to ensure their success; this will give confidence to other transatlantic operators to return.

“These popular routes provided important transatlantic air connectivity for people and businesses in the Mid-West and along the west coast of Ireland prior to the pandemic; we look forward to seeing a high take-up on both services when they return.

“The recent return of services to Shannon by Ryanair and Aer Lingus and the pending return of United and American Airlines is but the start of the air traffic recovery process. As outlined in our presentations to Ministers Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton, and to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, route restoration will not happen organically. Airlines and airports will need to be supported in their efforts to restore traffic to Irish airports. That is why we have prepared and presented a financial model to Government that could be used to encourage airlines to restore traffic, to 2019 levels, into regional airports during the recovery period.

“With Budget 2022 imminent, we will continue our linkages with Government to ensure that the multi-annual funding Shannon and regional airports require to restore connectivity to pre-pandemic levels is made available.”