Air Canada flights from Shannon Airport to Toronto, Canada, set to take off in 2018.Air Canada

Shannon Airport has welcomed the announcement by Air Canada of a new direct service from Shannon to Toronto operating from June 2 to Oct 13 2018.

There are over 4.4 million Canadians of Irish descent, making the Irish among the largest ethnic groups in Canada. The service opens up trade and tourism opportunities as Toronto Pearson International airport is an Air Canada hub and from here passengers can connect to over 190 onward destinations on five continents.

Welcoming the announcement, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers said: “It is wonderful to have more flights to strengthen the bonds between our two countries.  Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon Group’s Chairman and CEO in County Clare. I experienced first-hand the incredible heritage and tourist attractions and I know they will prove popular with Canadian visitors.

“Equally, Canada is a wonderful place for holidays and business and I look forward to seeing increased levels of tourism and trade because of this great new initiative.”

Celebrating the launch of Shannon Airports new service to Toronto, Canada.

Celebrating the launch of Shannon Airports new service to Toronto, Canada.

The service will operate four days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Air Canada will operate with a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, flights will depart Shannon at 10.30am arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport at 12.45pm. Return flights will depart Toronto at 10.00pm arriving in Shannon at 09.30am.

Speaking about the new service Blaithin O’Donnell, Air Canada Sales Manager, Ireland said “We are delighted at Air Canada to be announcing our new service from Shannon to Toronto for summer 2018. Canada is an increasingly popular destination for Irish holidaymakers with its great city life, fabulous scenery and friendly locals and with the increasing number of Irish emigrants living in Canada, visiting for friends and family living in the Shannon region will be even easier.

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"There were over 200,000 Canadian visitors to Ireland in 2016 and the addition of this new route will ensure that more Canadian visitors get to experience the amazing beauty and hospitality of this part of our island.  With the signing of the CETA trade agreement between the EU and Canada, business travel between the two countries is also set to increase, which this new service will be ready to facilitate. I would like to thank the support of Shannon Airport who have been working with us to set up this new route and we look forward to welcoming our first Toronto bound passengers on board on 2nd June 2018”

Outlining the potential for the service Andrew Murphy, Managing Director, Shannon Airport said “The new service will undoubtedly provide a major boost for Irish tourism and create new trade opportunities. Canadian tourists are high spenders and businesses along the Wild Atlantic Way in particular will benefit as the route will deliver significant Canadian visitors directly to their doorstep.”

Air Canada flights from Toronto set to land at Shannon Airport.

Air Canada flights from Toronto set to land at Shannon Airport.

Commenting on the significance of the announcement Matthew Thomas CEO, Shannon Group, whose previous role before joining Shannon Group was with the Vancouver based Vantage Airport Group said “Securing this direct Canadian service for Shannon has been one of our top priorities for some time now.”

He continued “The arrival of the service further strengthens our long-haul connectivity and enhances our links with what is the world’s largest group of airlines, Star Alliance. This route delivers a real opportunity for this part of the country to become a gateway into the EU for Canadian business. We look forward to welcoming the airline on board next year.”

Highlighting the business benefits Trade Minister Pat Breen said: “As Ireland’s seventh largest trading partner outside of the European Union, direct services like this provide Irish companies with improved access to international markets.”

Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world and is ranked 22nd out of 190 countries for ease of doing business. The new Toronto air service is particularly important following the signing of the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement (CETA), which will give both sides “preferential access” to each other’s markets and paves the way for new business opportunities when it comes into effect on 21st September this year.

Seats will go on sale on Tuesday Sept 19 at www.aircanada.com.

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