No Preferential Treatment Towards Dublin Airport Says Aer Lingus

Released on: March 18, 2008, 9:42 am

Press Release Author: Mark Dunphy/Dunphy Public Relations

Industry: Transportation & Logistics

Press Release Summary: New York, 18th March 2008 - Aer Lingus has denied suggestions
that it has given preferential treatment to Dublin Airport in relation to the
operation of its transatlantic services.

Press Release Body: The airline this week told a delegation from County Clare and
the Mid West Region that it was encouraged by the ongoing destination marketing
efforts by local business and tourism interests. It also pledged its commitment to
developing transatlantic services at Shannon Airport.

Representing Aer Lingus at the meeting in Ireland House, Park Avenue, New York, this
week were Jack
Foley, Executive Vice President in North America; Kate Kiernan, Director of Revenues
& Business Development; and Helen Maguire, Director Consumer Sales. Representatives
of Clare County Council, Shannon Town Council, the Clare County Development Board
and the Mid West Regional Authority also attended the meeting.

Speaking after the 90-minute meeting, Councillor Patricia McCarthy, Mayor of Clare,
said, "During a series of robust and frank exchanges, the Clare delegation welcomed
the recent Aer Lingus announcement regarding the retention of existing transatlantic
services. However, the delegation expressed its concern that Dublin was being
favoured over Shannon and that fare packages were more attractive for those flying
into Dublin."

She continued, "Aer Lingus was adamant that there was no preferential treatment
towards Dublin. We were told that market factors were at play and pricing had to
take account of this. It was reassuring to hear from the airline that it was in
their interests for the transatlantic routes to be a success and that they would
work with people to develop services at Shannon."

Mayor McCarthy said that Aer Lingus was very receptive to the suggestion that County
Clare and the wider region assist in promoting the transatlantic routes and securing
increased visitors through Shannon Airport.

"It makes perfect sense that those affected by any potential alteration of Aer
Lingus transatlantic operations do their utmost to make existing services a success.
I am aware of the huge amount of promotional work already being done in this area by
the local business and hospitality sectors, and fully appreciate that that such
efforts must continue if the US routes are to remain viable for Aer Lingus", she

Meanwhile, the Mayor has welcomed the airline's commitment to investigate the
possible reestablishment of a direct service between Shannon and Chicago. Presently,
all Aer Lingus passengers travelling between Chicago and Shannon must disembark at
Dublin Airport.

Mayor McCarthy said, "I raised the issue of the Chicago route and the difficulties
currently being experienced. Aer Lingus acknowledged the difficulties and said that
it needed to do some work in relation to feed in to the routes from other locations.
They informed me that they were actively working on this."

During the meeting, Aer Lingus confirmed that it enjoyed its most successful ever
Irish promotion last summer following the launch of the Clare Tourism Forum website
on Fox News in Milwaukee and NBC's live broadcast from the Cliffs of Moher.

According to Councillor Sean McLoughlin, Mayor of Shannon, "Such successes indicate
that there is a major market in North America for the West of Ireland. What the
airline and those in County Clare need to do to find structured ways in which this
market can be tapped."

Mayor McLoughlin expressed optimism that future destination marketing campaigns by
tourism interests in County Clare and the wider region would encourage Aer Lingus to
further commit to developing its operations at Shannon Airport.

"At the meeting, Aer Lingus proposed to dovetail marketing initiatives and
promotional fares with local initiatives, such as the provision by accommodation
providers of competitive packages. I also welcome the airline's proposal that it
would run a tourism promotional video, produced by the region, as part of its
on-board marketing of its routes", concluded Mayor McLoughlin.


Note to Editor
To arrange an interview or for further information please contact Mark Dunphy of
Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or A high-resolution
image of the meetings attendees is available on request.

Web Site:

Contact Details: Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
00353-868534900 (mobile)
00353-656839692 (fax)

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