Fianna Fáil TD for Clare Timmy Dooley has criticised the decision by Aer Lingus to suspend Shannon Airport’s only year round route to Boston over the Easter holiday period. Deputy Dooley said that the service cutback will have a negative impact on the hospitality sector across the west of Ireland. Deputy Dooley made the comments after Aer Lingus confirmed the link would be temporarily suspended due to operational reasons.

Deputy Dooley commented, “The announcement by Aer Lingus that it is cutting its only year round route to Boston during the Easter holiday period is alarming. The cancelling of flights between March 29th and April 8th will have a negative impact on the tourism industry across the West of Ireland.

“Easter is traditionally a busy time of year for the hospitality sector and this service cutback will undoubtedly lead to a loss of business in the region. The disruption caused to tourists will also damage the image of Shannon and the West of Ireland for years to come. American tourists have already purchased tickets to travel to Shannon over Easter and now they face the prospect of having to either rearrange their plans or perhaps cancel their plans entirely.

“It has been reported that Aer Lingus is cutting back on the Shannon – Boston service due to a shortage of aircraft to operate flights from Dublin. This clearly demonstrates that Aer Lingus has more of an interest in developing its operations in Dublin over Shannon airport. This comes at a time when the government is considering disposing of Aer Lingus, a vital state asset, through the IAG takeover bid. Aer Lingus have told us that Shannon would be placed on an even par with Dublin following a successful takeover bid. However this latest development clearly shows what will happen in practice.

“I am calling on Aer Lingus to take into account the impact that this service disruption will have on the hospitality sector in the West of Ireland and to reconsider the decision. We cannot have a situation arise where Aer Lingus thinks it is acceptable to cut services at Shannon to supplement shortages in Dublin” said Deputy Dooley.