Wednesday 16th June

Aer Lingus decision flies in the face of business sense – Carey

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has said today that the decision by Aer Lingus to suspend transatlantic services out of Shannon Airport from January to March next year is further evidence that Aer Lingus is squeezing the viability out of its Shannon operation.

Deputy Carey said that the decision, at a time when other airlines have reaffirmed their commitment to year round transatlantic services, shows the lack of foresight and ambition that Aer Lingus has in relation to the mid-west. He also claimed that the DAA’s continued control and oversight of day to day operations in Shannon has contributed to this decision.

Deputy Carey said:
“This decision by Aer Lingus to suspend its transatlantic services from Shannon airport from January 5th to March 27th next year makes no commercial sense. It displays a shocking lack of ambition and confidence by the airline towards Shannon. Both Continental and Delta have confirmed they will operate transatlantic routes out of Shannon this year. Yet our former national carrier has turned its back on the airport during the same winter months.”

He added:

“Again we have to ask ourselves, what use is it that the government having a 25% stake in the airline if the interests of Irish citizens are not protected? The government reneged on its marketing commitments to the region post open skies and we are now seeing the fall out from that decision.”

He said:

“Next year is precisely the wrong time for Ireland to lose any connectivity to transatlantic markets. We expect the US economy to be on a strong financial footing in 2011, and therefore tourism should pick up considerably. It’s ironic to think that our national carrier will not be able to get those tourists to the west coast for St. Patrick’s Day.”