Monday, 22 December 2008 – The reinstatement of a Shannon Airport to London Heathrow service by Aer Lingus may not have been realised were it not for Ryanair’s bid to take over the national airline, according to the Mayor of Clare.
While welcoming what she described as “the reestablishment of a strategically important service for business and tourism across the West of ”, Councillor Madeleine Taylor Quinn said she believed that Government pressure on Aer Lingus to restore the route had led to today’s announcement.
“Perhaps at this point it may not be popular in some quarters to thank Michael O’Leary of Ryanair, but it is my considered opinion that had he not proposed to restore the Heathrow to Shannon connection in his takeover bid for Aer Lingus that we may not have had this announcement,” stated the Mayor.
She continued, “It was known in aviation circles that Ryanair was planning on making the Shannon to Heathrow proposal long before it became public. O’Leary’s proposal served to focus Aer Lingus and the Government into reality and hence its welcome announcement.”
The Mayor noted that Aer Lingus would now have a challenge to regain and restore the confidence of its previous customer base.
She explained, “It must be recognised that a lot of damage has been done to the tourism and business community in Clare and the wider region since the withdrawal of the Shannon to Heathrow service earlier this year. Shannon’s rightful slots into Heathrow were wrongfully withdrawn in a cavalier and reckless fashion without any consideration of the fallout for the region.”
“As Mayor of Clare I wish Aer Lingus success with its partially restored service next March. However, I am requesting the airline and the Minister for Transport to restore all three flights in the immediate future,” commented Mayor Taylor Quinn.
“I particularly wish to compliment the management of Shannon Airport for their determination in pursuing this issue with Aer Lingus and arriving at an attractive arrangement for the airline. Equally the Aer Lingus staff at Shannon must be lauded for their co-operation on rationalisation, which undoubtedly was a factor in the airline reaching a decision,” concluded the Mayor.
Notes to Editor:
- Mayor of Clare Councillor Madeleine Taylor Quinn () is available for interview
- For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on or
Dunphy Public Relations