Aer Lingus to launch flights from Shannon to Paris and Barcelona
New routes expected to help return airport to growth in passenger numbers in 2020
Aer Lingus plans to fly four times a week to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and three times a week to Barcelona. Photograph: Frank Grealish
Aer Lingus is set to announce the launch of new routes from Shannon Airport to Paris and Barcelona in a move that is expected to help return the Co Clare airport to growth next year.
Aer Lingus plans to fly four times a week to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and three times a week to Barcelona. The new routes will be unveiled by Aer Lingus executives at a ceremony in Shannon on Wednesday morning, and the new services will begin in the first quarter of next year.
The route to Charles de Gaulle will offer passengers the opportunity to use Paris as a hub for onward flights to a wide range of long-haul destinations in Asia, South America and elsewhere.
The service to Barcelona is likely to put Aer Lingus in competition with Ryanair, which offers a twice-weekly service to Barcelona Reus during summer.
Aer Lingus already flies a number of routes from Shannon, including to London Heathrow, Edinburgh, Malaga, New York and Boston.
This is yet more positive news for Shannon Airport, which recently announced new services by Ryanair subsidiary Lauda to the Austrian capital, Vienna. Lauda will fly twice a week to Vienna.
The Lauda service was secured with the assistance of Tourism Ireland and the increased route development fund for regional airports announced in Budget 2020.
Traffic at the Co Clare airport has been affected this year by the grounding worldwide of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft following two crashes that resulted in the deaths of 346 people.
In July, Shannon Airport chief executive Mary Considine told a special meeting of Clare Country Council that the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft would cost the region about €58 million this year.
She told the meeting the airport would suffer the loss of 120,000 passengers from three services – two with Norwegian and one with United Airlines – affected by the Boeing Max grounding. This will end six years of passenger growth at Shannon Airport, which operates as part of the Shannon Group.
The airport, which began services 80 years ago, handled 1.86 million passengers in 2018, up from 1.75 million a year earlier.