Andrew Murphy, Shannon Airport, Matthew Thomas, Shannon Group; Ambassador Kevin Vickers; Minister Pat Breen, Declan Power, Shannon Airport and Blaithin O’Donnell, Air Canada | Picture: Paul Sherwood
AIR Canada has announced it will operate a new direct service between Shannon Airport and Toronto next summer.
The service, which will operate four days a week, will launch on June 2, 2018 and will continue until the end of October.
“We are delighted at Air Canada to be announcing our new service from Shannon to Toronto for summer 2018. Canada is an increasingly popular destination for Irish holidaymakers with its great city life, fabulous scenery and friendly locals and with the increasing number of Irish emigrants living in Canada, visiting for friends and family living in the Shannon region will be even easier,” said Blaithin O’Donnell, Air Canada’s sales manager for Ireland.
Welcoming the announcement, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers said: “It is wonderful to have more flights to strengthen the bonds between our two countries. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Shannon Group’s Chairman and CEO in County Clare. I experienced first-hand the incredible heritage and tourist attractions and I know they will prove popular with Canadian visitors. Equally, Canada is a wonderful place for holidays and business and I look forward to seeing increased levels of tourism and trade because of this great new initiative.”
Tourism Ireland has also welcomed the announcement that direct flights are to resume between Shannon and Toronto.
“As an island destination, the importance of convenient, direct flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving continued growth in inbound tourism. We look forward to working closely with Air Canada, Shannon Airport and other tourism interests, to maximise the promotion of this new flight and maintain the strong growth momentum,” said its CEO Niall Gibbons.
Outlining the potential for the service, which will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Andrew Murphy, managing director of Shannon Airport said: “Canadian tourists are high spenders and businesses along the Wild Atlantic Way in particular will benefit as the route will deliver significant Canadian visitors directly to their doorstep. We look forward to working with Air Canada and our tourism trade partners to ensure the success of the new service,” he said.
Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world and is ranked 22nd out of 190 countries for ease of doing business. The new Toronto air service is particularly important following the signing of the Canada-Europe Trade Agreement (CETA), which will give both sides “preferential access” to each other’s markets and paves the way for new business opportunities when it comes into effect later this month. There were over 200,000 Canadian visitors to Ireland in 2016.
Earlier this Wednesday, Shannon Airport received another boost with confirmation that Ryanair is to begin flying to Barcelona from next March.