Airline reviews Shannon operations

Stobart Air, the franchise flying partner to Aer Lingus, has confirmed it is reviewing its operations at Shannon Airport.

Confirmation came last night after staff at Shannon were told on Tuesday of the airline’s plans to close its base there. While the airline has said “nothing has been finalised”, it’s understood staff will be offered the chance to move to Dublin while redundancy for those who would not wish to relocate was also discussed.

Formerly Aer Arann, Stobart Air operates services from Shannon to Bristol, Birmingham, and Edinburgh on behalf of Aer Lingus under the Aer Lingus Regional brand which was established in 2010.

The airline enjoyed a 43% increase in passenger numbers at Shannon during September compared to the same month last year.

Last month, however, Stobart axed its Shannon to Manchester service a day after Ryanair began operations on the same route. The airline denied its flight change was related to this.

A Stobart Air spokeswoman said last night: “We are currently finalising our 2015 schedule, which will include further positive developments in our route network. As part of this, we are reviewing our operations at Shannon. Full details of our 2015 schedule will be outlined in the coming weeks.”

One airline employee said: “I can’t say we’re surprised they dropped the Manchester route last month, because you just can’t complete with Ryanair, but nobody was expecting this.

“The load factors during the summer were actually very good so we can’t understand it at all. We’ve been told that we can move to another base and for those who don’t want to do that, they will only get the statutory redundancy.”

A spokesman for Shannon Airport said: “We are in ongoing communications with Stobart Air and we await the outcome of their review.”


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