Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has called on the Board of United Airlines to reconsider their decision suspend daily year round flights between New York and Shannon Airport.
And he has asked Transport Minister Shane Ross for his support in persuading the directors of the US airline not to go ahead with their decision to cut the Shannon transatlantic service from November 26 to March 9 next.
In a letter to United Airlines’ chief executive Oscar Munoz, Deputy Carey described the three month suspension of services as a huge shock to business and tourism interests in the Mid West and Western Regions of Ireland.
“I am asking that the Board of United Airlines would reconsider the decision and take into consideration that access to Shannon Airport will greatly improve with the opening of the Gort-Tuam M18 road project before the end of September.
“This positive development will bring Galway City and its population within seventy minutes of Shannon thus making it the automatic Airport of choice for the Galway business community as opposed to travelling to a congested Dublin Airport,” he explained.
“Business and tourism interests have expressed quiet an amount of concern to me regarding this decision. Companies in the West of Ireland are depend on reliable, affordable access to international markets through Shannon Airport. The year-round daily Newark-Shannon service, which was established in 1999, has been a key factor in many companies choosing to locate in our Region.
“Throughout this eighteen year partnership, Shannon and United Airlines have overseen the smooth transfer of thousands of tourists travelling on this vital link creating and sustaining tourism-related business along the West coast of Ireland and East coast of the United States”.
Asking Mr Munoz and his directors to revisit their decision “given the changing circumstances and the negative impact it will have on the economy of the West Coast of Ireland,” Deputy Carey said it was extremely important that Shannon can continue to offer access to the biggest city in the United States on a year round basis.