Declan Power, Head of Aviation Development, Shannon Airport, with Fiona Noonan, American Airlines
SHANNON Airport has welcomed the ‘significant’ decision by American Airlines to increase its transatlantic service, offering a boost to the airport and region of upwards of 7,000 passengers next year.
American has announced that it is to expand its Shannon to Philadelphia service in 2018, as the airline continues to build on the “growing demand for flights” between Shannon and the major US hub.
The world's largest airline will increase capacity on the route by 18%. Over 38,000 passengers already use the daily service annually.
“The airline’s decision is significant and shows that the service is popular with passengers both sides of the Atlantic,” said Andrew Murphy, managing director of Shannon Airport.
“We are delighted with the increase which will add an additional 50 return flights and 7,000 passengers. It is a service that continues to grow, with a 60% increase in capacity already added since 2013.
“The additional capacity will not only have a positive impact for inbound tourism for the West of Ireland providing a boost for the tourism industry along the Wild Atlantic Way, but will also provide increased opportunities for business connectivity as people using the service will be able to connect at the American Airlines leading hub airports.
“It is also a very popular destination given its historical significance in the US and its strong Irish community. We look forward to partnering with American Airlines on making the expansion a real success.”
The airline will commence its 2018 service on April 5, a month earlier than this year, and will run until early October. The route is operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft and Declan Power, head of aviation development at Shannon, said the significance of the increased transatlantic capacity “illustrate Shannon’s growing appeal in the transatlantic market and bring US capacity at Shannon next year to well over 550,000 seats, with eight services to seven airports on the US east coast.
“Philadelphia is one of the airline’s leading hub airports, offering connections to well over 100 destinations across 25 countries.”
The airport believe that Shannon’s attractiveness for transatlantic travellers has been boosted by the introduction of a new time saving combined EU/US Pre-clearance checkpoint being trailed at Shannon.
It eliminates the need for US bound passengers to queue twice for separate security checks. Shannon is the first airport in the world to trial this system.