There was good news for those seeking to plan a trip to Ireland over the coming months as Ireland’s national air carrier, Aer Lingus, launched a new Boeing 757 transatlantic service between Shannon airport and Boston’s Logan airport. The launch of the Shannon to Boston service signifies the commencement of a major expansion for the airline’s transatlantic offering including flights to San Francisco and Toronto, all this in addition to their current scheduled flights. Aer Lingus also confirmed that in addition to the daily, year-round Boston to Shannon service it was also announced that the Irish airline would operate a year-round service from New York to the west of Ireland hub starting from the 30th March, 2014
The news comes at the perfect time for Shannon Airport with the additional transatlantic services allowing the region to build on the positive momentum garnered during the Gathering Ireland 2013. The airport witnessed steady growth in passenger numbers on US services with many enjoying Ireland vacations during the year long celebrations in what was the airport’s first year as an independent entity.
At the launch Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey stated:
“This new daily Boston service is very much driven by the market, with significant demand, in particular, from the business community due to the very significant presence in the west and south of Ireland of Massachusetts based US multi-nationals such as Boston Scientific and EMC. This is supplemented by a very strong inbound and outbound tourism market thanks to the incredible ties between this region and both Boston and New York.”
In 2014 Aer Lingus will operate 13 weekly transatlantic flights, compared to just seven the previous year, which represents a 24% increase in passenger capacity on these transatlantic routes.
With the addition of the increased frequency Shannon airport has significantly increased its connectivity to North America to include almost 40 cities through Aer Lingus’ partner airline, Jetblue Airways, allowing passengers to connect to cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Washington, Orlando, and Dallas.
Aer Lingus Chief Executive, Christoph Mueller said:
“This is a significant day for Aer Lingus and for our team at Shannon Airport. Today’s flight marks the beginning of our major transatlantic expansion in 2014. We are confident that the increased number of flights from Shannon to New York and Boston will bring additional tourists to the western region and further support the strong international trade links between the region and the United States.”
Shannon Airport Chairman Rose Hynes said:
“We have a transatlantic catchment at Shannon that goes from Cork right up to the North-West. Within that region there is very significant demand for both business and tourism connections into both Boston and New York. This is the first time since 2009 that Aer Lingus will have operated year-round daily services from Shannon, which is a further reflection of the growth path that the airport is now on.”
The big bonus of flying transatlantic from Shannon airport is the ability to pre-clear US customs, immigration and agriculture on the Irish side, which saves passengers significant time on arrival in the United States. That service was launched in 2009 and made Shannon the first airport outside the North Americas to have US pre-clearance.