Shannon Group, the parent company of Shannon Airport in Co Clare, has today welcomed the news that service from Heathrow Airport in London in the UK will return to the Irish airport from September 13.
The company said in a statement that beginning September 13, the Heathrow service will operate seven days a week, departing Shannon at 5 pm local time daily.
Arrival times from London into Shannon will be 4:10 pm Monday through Friday and Sunday, with arrival times on Saturday scheduled for 3:45 pm.
The service will operate for ten weeks during the closure of Cork Airport for runway upgrade works.
Shannon Group says that Aer Lingus will operate an A321LR aircraft six out of seven days on the Shannon to Heathrow route, the newest, most fuel-efficient, and environmentally friendly member of their fleet, with 16 dedicated business class seats. On Mondays, an A320 aircraft will provide the service.
The Shannon to Heathrow service was withdrawn as a result of the pandemic, Shannon Group noted on Wednesday. Prior to this, the service had been popular, particularly for business travellers, due to Heathrow’s hub status and onward connections to international marketplaces across the globe.
Mary Considine, CEO of Shannon Group, said: “It is great to see the Heathrow service return to Shannon in what has been, and continues to be, an extremely difficult period for the aviation sector.
“We will be working closely with Aer Lingus to build the service and to resume long-haul services, however, airlines make decisions on routes based on a number of factors, one of the most important of which is how many passengers will travel on their flight. The best way to ensure the Heathrow service and indeed other routes remain for the long term is for people to support them. We have already seen encouraging up-take for the range of 18 air services we have launched since the lifting of travel restrictions.
Commenting on the general outlook at Shannon, Considine said: “With Heathrow starting on September 13th, our new Luton service due to begin operation at the end of October and our existing Stansted and Gatwick services, we have the best connectivity to London airports since 2009 when we last had services to all four of the largest London airports.
“We have significant Covid-19 safety measures in place and our passengers can be confident when they choose to fly Shannon that we are focused on making their journey through the airport an easy and enjoyable experience.”
“We would like to thank our customers for their loyalty and ask them for their continued support as we navigate our way back to recovery and growth which will take some time yet.”
Elsewhere, travelers from the US await the return of a transatlantic service to Shannon Airport, which has been suspended since the pandemic took hold. Aer Lingus is still operating flights to Dublin from New York and Boston in the US.
Bill Byrne, the Senior VP of Global Sales for Aer Lingus, recently told IrishCentral's sister publication the Irish Voice newspaper: “We’ve been flying to Shannon from here [the US] for 60 years.
“It’s a very important airport for us, and for Irish America. When you look at Shannon, it’s very busy in the summer months, less busy in the winter. But our commitment to Shannon is foundational, especially from New York and Boston. We know how important it is to fly that route. We are very committed to it.”
Earlier this year, Aer Lingus closed its cabin crew base at Shannon Airport, but the carrier hopes to resume transatlantic services from the gateway next year, according to a recent report in the Irish Independent.
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