FLIGHTS between Shannon and Birmingham are to be restored from mid-June with Aer Lingus Regional.
Shannon had been working on replacing the route after Stobart Air, the operator of Aer Lingus Regional’s UK flights, stopped using the airport as a base and cut services to Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh in January.
But the airline will now be back plying the Birmingham route this summer with a spokesperson confirming the intention to operate year-round.
“The original decision to cease operations at Shannon Airport was a difficult but necessary one,” explained Ronan Whitty, head of revenue management with Stobart Air.
“The high cost of having aircraft based full-time at the airport made it more difficult to generate the necessary returns from our Shannon routes. Closing the base enabled us to consolidate our costs, and thereby look at Shannon from a different perspective. Now, it can work both for Shannon and our wider network.
“The passenger demand is there, and together with our colleagues at Shannon and Birmingham Airports, we will make a major push to mobilise a positive passenger response on this new route,” Mr Whitty said.
Shannon Group chief commercial officer Andrew Murphy has welcomed Stobart back into the fold, saying: “This is testament to the demand for services between Shannon and Birmingham and we look forward to working with Stobart and ensuring passengers flying to and from Shannon on this route get the best possible airport experience”.
Pat O’Neill, of the Limerick Association in Birmingham, hailed the return of the route as “fantastic news for tourism and for business also.
“It is no more than we deserve. Shannon to Birmingham is a very important route for us which has been on and off for a number of years and we are delighted to see Stobart coming back in,” said Mr O’Neill, a native of Adare who moved to the UK in 1961.