SHANNON AIRPORT has received a significant blow following the delay of its seasonal Toronto service until early July.
The postponement of the direct four-time weekly route, which was set to return from early June until mid-October, is of a result of Air Canada having to ground two dozen of its Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, which were banned from operating in Canadian airspace.
The move by Canadian officials came last month in the wake of two deadly crashes in six months, one of which was the Ethiopian Airlines accident which claimed 157 lives, including Lahinch man Micheál Ryan.
“Air Canada assures its customers that we are doing everything possible to mitigate the effects of the 737 Max grounding and we appreciate our customers’ patience and flexibility as we continue to work on transporting them safely to their destinations,” said Lucie Guillemette, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Air Canada.
“By adjusting our schedule for the month of May, we are providing certainty for our customers so they can continue to book and travel with confidence on Air Canada,” she added.
The decision comes in the aftermath of the announcement that Norwegian Air had delayed its numerous transatlantic services from Shannon until the end of June, which now sees Shannon lose out on hundreds outbound and inbound flights over the next couple of months.
Last year, Air Canada launched a direct service from Shannon to Toronto a decade after axing a flight to the Clare-based international airport.
Passengers booked on the Shannon to Toronto service can now fly out of Dublin, which uses a larger Airbus A330 aircraft.
The move is of a direct result of major shortages of the 737 Max aircraft and changes to schedules have been made up to the end of June to deal with the temporary lack of planes.