United Airlines have today announced a new service that will connect Shannon with the major US hub of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago from June 7th to August 23rd next year.
I warmly welcome the announcement by United Airlines and believe this is a very significant vote of confidence in Shannon Airport by one of the major airlines in world aviation. This is especially welcome given The Gathering project which it is hoped will see the return of many Irish emigrants next year to Ireland, and indeed County Clare, to participate in a large programme of events which are strongly supported by Government.
The route will be operated by a Boeing 757-200 aircraft and will be scheduled at a time which gives passengers options to connect from Chicago to over 125 destinations across North, Central and South America. It should be pointed out that United Airlines offers more nonstop service to more points from O’Hare International than any other carrier. This further reinforcers just how important Shannon Airport is as a major gateway to both Europe and the United States. It was the first airport in Europe to offer full US pre-clearance services, and there are significant Government plans currently in process which will see a re-energised Shannon Airport emerge in the years ahead.
I would now encourage all the major tourist and other State agencies working in the region to help promote and sustain this new business at Shannon and I wish United Airlines well in what I hope will become a long and beneficial relationship between Chicago and Ireland.