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Mayor of Clare Pat Daly said the decision by US-based airline United to provide a direct service between Chicago and Shannon from June 2013 should serve as a reminder of how future operations at the County Clare airport can be expanded in the coming years.

Mayor Daly said the development of existing and new transatlantic services to and from Shannon remained as important to the facility now as it did when it was first established in the 1940s. “I would like to think that the scheduled separation of Shannon Airport from the Dublin Airport Authority has been an influencing factor in the world’s biggest airline’s decision to launch the route. An autonomous airport that is able to market itself internationally will hopefully lead to further route expansions in the years to come. This announcement also sends out a clear message to other airlines that Shannon can deliver for large airlines in a very competitive market,” stated the Mayor Mayor Daly said that regional development agencies and tourism and business interests in the Mid West Region have a central role to play in ensuring that the newly announced Chicago-Shannon service is successful.
“Clare County Council, the Clare Tourism Forum and other promotional agencies throughout the region, have for many years assisted airport management in promoting transatlantic routes and securing additional visitors through Shannon Airport. This work complements the huge amount of promotional work already being done in this area by the local business and hospitality sectors, and I fully appreciate that that such efforts must continue if the US routes are to remain viable for airlines such as United,” he explained.

Clare County Manager Tom Coughlan also welcomed the announcement, adding that it would significantly increase capacity on Shannon’s transatlantic routes.

“Clare County Council has consistently raised the issue of increasing capacity on Shannon’s transatlantic services for the purposes of welcoming visitors to County Clare and the Mid West during The Gathering Ireland 2013. United’s announcement represents a very satisfactory outcome to the considerable work that the Council has been carrying out to promote Shannon Airport at local, national and international level,” added Mr. Coughlan.