THERE ARE NOW even more ways to travel to the USA, as United Airlines has announced its new Shannon to Chicago route.
The route will run from next summer and will be in addition to the daily service to Newark that United operate on a year-round basis at Shannon.
The Chicago service will generate an additional 20,000 passengers through the airport next year and provide a boost for the West of Ireland in terms of business connections to the third largest city in the US.
The new flights will commence on 6 June and operate until 28 August, departing Shannon at 11am. It will operate five times a week on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
All United Airlines flights will use Shannon Airport’s unique US Preclearance facility.
Boost for airport
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.
She added that the announcement is also timely in the context of the Gathering next year. United Airlines (formerly Continental) has been operating at Shannon since 1998, has so far carried over 1.4 million passengers through the airport and is 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.
Over 110,000 passengers travelled in 2007 when the route was then served by both American Airlines and Aer Lingus with 14 flights a week.
The United Airlines services to Chicago and Newark are now on sale at United.com or local travel agents.
The news has been welcomed by Tourism Ireland, which said that the United States is a tremendously important tourism market, while Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar said that the move is “a significant vote of confidence in Shannon Airport by United”.
Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey and Clare Labour TD Michael McNamara also welcomed the news.