Shannon Airport’s status as the transatlantic gateway to the West of Ireland is set to be significantly enhanced thanks to the announcement of a new route by United Airlines to Chicago from next summer.
The new route will be in addition to the daily service to Newark that United operates on a year round basis at Shannon.
The Chicago service is expected to generate an additional 20,000 passengers through the airport next year operating five times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Flights commence on June 6 and operate until August 28, departing Shannon at 11.00am. All United Airlines flights will use Shannon Airport’s unique US Preclearance facility, thus ensuring speedy access on arrival in the US for all passengers and those making connecting flights beyond Chicago.
Welcoming the news Mary Considine, Airport Director, said: “This is a significant boost for Shannon Airport and we are delighted to have this new service on the transatlantic market. In this challenging business environment United Airlines’ decision shows the
continued appeal of Shannon and the West of Ireland product, be that tourism or business.
“United Airlines has been a strong performer at Shannon since it commenced services here in 1998. It has successfully built a year-round customer base in the West of Ireland in the business and leisure sectors. This announcement is proof that United Airlines see further opportunities for growth at Shannon and we look forward to working closely with them on delivering those extra passengers.
“The announcement is also timely in the context of the Gathering next year. There
are ambitious targets for strengthening visitor numbers next year and this new Chicago service will help in that regard.”
United Airlines (formerly Continental) has been operating at Shannon since 1998, has so far carried over 1.4 million passengers through the airport and looks set to exceed the 1.5 million mark by the end of 2013. The Chicago route was a regular service at Shannon since 1996 and was last operated in 2009 when Aer Lingus ceased its service.