Heathrow link to Shannon cancelled

Irish airline Aer Lingus will end its service between Shannon and Heathrow, but use the Heathrow slots to launch a new route to Belfast.

The news comes as the airline revealed that is has decided to create its first base outside of the Republic of Ireland at Belfast.

Three A320 aircraft will be stationed at Belfast International Airport, primarily operating on routes to and from London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol.

Commenting on the new base, Aer Lingus chief executive Dermot Mannion said: "This decision reflects our commitment to delivering profitable growth, low fares for customers and value for shareholders.

"Belfast is becoming an increasingly popular destination for visitors from all over the world. Belfast International Airport is the ideal location for the new Aer Lingus base.

"A new base in BFS provides Aer Lingus with the opportunity to grow by providing customers with additional choice and low fares to European destinations."

However, Tony Killeen, a minister for the Shannon area, said that he was dismayed the region was set to lose its connection to the UK.

He added: "If Aer Lingus cannot be persuaded to change this decision, which I believe can still be reversed, it is absolutely vital that new services from Shannon to Heathrow be put in place at times of the day that are convenient to the business community in the west of Ireland."

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