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The Mayor of Clare today welcomed the decision by Aer Lingus to restore year-round transatlantic services between Shannon Airport and New York and Boston.
Cllr. Joe Arkins said the announcement will serve as a significant boost to industry and tourism in the West of Ireland and will consolidate Shannon Airport’s revival since it secured independence from the Dublin Airport Authority. The Mayor also said that the new services will be very much welcomed by those from the West of Ireland now living and working in the United States.
Commenting following today’s announcement by Aer Lingus at a press conference in Dublin, Mayor Arkins said: “Aer Lingus’ decision provides a wonderful boost to an airport that is slowly but surely finding its feet in the months since autonomy was achieved. One need only visit the airport to see how the entire atmosphere has changed there. The commencement of new services between the USA and continental Europe in recent months has given management at Shannon the confidence to push on and garner new business.”
Mayor Arkins said the new transatlantic services will have “positive consequences for the local economy in the West of Ireland.” He continued: “A key factor in any multinational’s decision to locate business to this part of Ireland is based on the availability of year-round services to critical markets such as the US east coast. Quality transatlantic connectivity is critical for multinationals operating in Ireland and for key decision makers in existing west of Ireland companies seeking to make further investments.” Mayor Arkins added: “Quality connectivity is also the lifeblood of tourism and it is imperative that we target transatlantic tourism to arrive into the West of Ireland via Shannon. This announcement allows for the growth in US visitor figures to this region, as indicated in recent figures from the CSO, to be sustained through the overseas marketing campaigns of such agencies as Fáilte Ireland, Tourism Ireland and the Clare Tourism Forum. I also would like to see tourism operators, including hoteliers, put attractive packages together to target this important market.”
Mayor Arkins also urged people living in the west of Ireland to play their part in ensuring that the new services are supported. “If Shannon is to remain as the ‘gateway’ to the West of Ireland for North American traffic everybody in this region must play their part in supporting these routes. This is particularly the case for West of Ireland-based firms that conduct business in the United States. Well supported Aer Lingus services on these transatlantic routes will also enhance competitiveness amongst airlines. It should also be remembered that these flights provide a direct link home for the many thousands of Irish people now living and working throughout the United States,” he concluded.