Bostonians seeking to fly non-stop next winter from Logan Airport to Shannon in Co. Clare will be out of luck beginning next January, as Aer Lingus has announced it will suspend the direct service over the winter season in 2019. The airline instead will add additional Shannon/New York flights to JFK during those months. It will continue to offer Boston service to Dublin throughout the winter.
The reduction by Aer Lingus follows a decision by Norwegian Air International (NAI) to curtail Ireland service from TF Green Airport in Providence next winter. NAI Providence flights from Cork, Shannon, and Edinburgh in Scotland will not be offered, but the airline will increase winter services to four weekly flights between Shannon and Newburgh, New York.
Published reports in Ireland quoted an Aer Lingus spokesman as saying, “We will continue to operate a Shannon transatlantic service through the winter season 2018/19. Whereas the Shannon to New York service was suspended from January to March this year, the Shannon to Boston service will be suspended during that period in 2019, while the Shannon New York service will continue to operate.
“Our analysis of both routes indicates that the New York route shows greater overall demand during this period. In addition, we can offer our Shannon guests more onward connecting opportunities, with our partner JetBlue, via New York than we can via Boston.
We will be operating a greater number of flights from Shannon to New York during the winter season next year than we operated from Shannon to Boston this winter.
“As a result, our total transatlantic seat capacity from Shannon will increase by 2,500 next winter,” the airline added.
While the changes are bad news for Cork, a Shannon spokesperson said Aer Lingus will now be able to accommodate more passengers travelling between Shannon and the US. “On balance we are pleased with the extra transatlantic capacity that this service switch creates. This change strengthens Aer Lingus’s commitment to Shannon by adding an extra 2,500 and restores a year-round service from New York to Shannon, but we are disappointed that the Boston market can only be accessed via New York for this two-month winter period.”
While the statement said that Shannon would continue to work with Aer Lingus on the Boston service, there are positives to maintaining a link with a major global hub like JFK. “The benefits of the restoration and expansion of a year-round service to a hub airport like JFK are apparent, with the opportunity for onward connectivity to over 90 destinations worldwide and with frequent connections between Boston and New York to service this market in the interim. It’s important to note that Shannon now has two year-round New York services with Aer Lingus and Norwegian Air International, which is positive news for the business community and also for leisure travellers.”