AER Lingus has confirmed that its daily morning service from Shannon to Heathrow will now depart at the earlier time of 7.30am.
The move is being seen as a “more business-friendly schedule”, according to airport bosses, while it has also been hailed by Limerick Chamber of Commerce.
The schedule change comes into effect from March 26, with arrival times into Shannon subtely changing as a result.
Aer Lingus Director of Communications, Declan Kearney, said the “more business-friendly schedule” would “also increase the onward-connection options with our partner airlines” as a result.
Welcoming the news, Shannon Group CEO Matthew Thomas said: “The schedule change by Aer Lingus brings the morning departure forward by one hour and 20 minutes, giving our business customers the benefit of a fuller day in London whilst also providing more efficient connectivity options beyond Heathrow to Europe and the rest of the world.
“This is a very welcome announcement for the business community along the western seaboard. In addition the return flight from Heathrow now lands in Shannon at 11.15am with the last departure to Heathrow moving to 7.00pm, from the earlier 5.25pm, allowing those visiting the region on business a longer business day also.
“It also creates greater outbound leisure options to a range of international destinations serviced from Heathrow with 80 airlines flying to 185 destinations in 84 countries. We would strongly encourage all business travelers in the region to support this improved schedule on what is our busiest and most important year round route.”
CEO of Limerick Chamber, James Ring, said the move was a positive one for the region.
“London is one of the most important cities in the world for international businesses operating in this region and very significant numbers travel there daily from here,” he said.
“We have heard from many multi-national executives investing here over the past few years about the influence Shannon had in terms of their decision to locate here and having earlier access to Heathrow daily will also boost our chances of attracting further FDI here.
“Up to now, the first flight of the day from Shannon to Heathrow landed at around 10:20am and you then had get to your destination. With the earlier departure, you can land in Heathrow at around 9am, which means you could potentially make a meeting or be at your desk in the city centre by 10am. This means you can almost work a full-day in London.
“The move to 7pm of the last evening flight to Heathrow is also beneficial as it enables people flying in from there to get more from their day here doing business.
“Not least in the post-Brexit era, it is critically important that doing business in and with the UK is as easy as possible. Thankfully Aer Lingus and Shannon have combined to make it so. We had a really positive 2016 here in the region and are excited about what lies ahead for 2017. This is certainly a good start.”