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Time for Aer Lingus to negotiate take back of leased Shannon Heathrow routes – Ferris

14 January, 2008

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris has today said that whilst the new Aer Lingus route operating out of Belfast to Heathrow will naturally take time to develop and grow to full capacity the slow take up does highlight the value of the company negotiating a take back of its profitable Shannon Heathrow leased routes.

Deputy Ferris said:

"Like all new business ventures the Aer Lingus Belfast Heathrow route will of course take time to develop to its full potential. The route is a competitive one with eight different carriers available to the consumer between the city of Belfast and Heathrow.

"From a business development perspective it would make sense for Aer Lingus to consider negotiating a take back of the leased out routes which have proven profitable for the company.

"That Aer Lingus is now a truly national airline is to be welcomed however its long term success can only be secured by maintaining and developing its business within all the country's regional airports. Government also has a responsibility to ensure the peoples shareholding is used to maximise the national interest. Connectivity and indeed job security for Aer Lingus workers remain central to all regional development." CRÍOCH

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