Aer Lingus gives Shannon a boost

SHANNON AIRPORT was given a much needed boost yesterday with confirmation Aer Lingus will resume its Paris-Charles de Gaulle service from December.

This news comes as Ryanair said it will reduce flights at its Frankfurt Hahn airport base from the summer of next year, saying an €8 tax by the German government makes the country an “uncompetitive tourist destination”.

The new Shannon service will have three weekly return flights and comes as Ryanair prepares to pull its Paris service from Shannon next week.

Shannon Airport Authority chairman Brian O’Connell said the ability to secure Aer Lingus services on the route so quickly is a vote of confidence in the airport.

Mr O’Connell said the airport management team and the board of Shannon Airport Authority is working extremely hard at building on the existing network and they are confident that they will be able to announce further new services over the coming months.

“We had identified Charles de Gaulle as a target for some time and redoubled our efforts following the announcement that the successful Beauvais service was ceasing operations from the end of this month,” he said.

The introduction of the Paris route brings to eight the number of destinations served by Aer Lingus from Shannon.

Meanwhile, Ryanair’s Hahn service will be cut from 11 to eight based aircraft with 30% fewer flights each week.

The airline said this move will lead to the loss of 1,000 jobs in Hahn including 150 Ryanair pilots and cabin crew jobs.

Also London Heathrow Airport may become less competitive against other European hubs and demand for long-haul leisure flights to the city may be hurt because of rising British tax, chief executive officer Colin Matthews said.

Passengers travelling from Britain to destinations more than 6,000 miles away will pay as much as £170 (€194) in air passenger duty, or APD, from November 1, an increase of 55% from the current rate of £110.

That compares with a maximum tax of €40 levied in France, and as much as €45 starting on January 1 in Germany.


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