High stakes for the west in the fight to keep Shannon Airport open for business

Aer Lingus’s decision last week to close its cabin crew base at Shannon is only the most recent blow to the airport and the mid-west region’s local economy. What does the future hold for Shannon?

Before closing its base at Shannon, Aer Lingus had put its 81 cabin crew and 41 ground crew there on the pandemic unemployment payment while flights were suspended. Picture: Peter Muhly/AFP

In 2007, as the Irish economy boomed, a total of 3.7 million passengers travelled through Shannon Airport. By 2019, before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19, that figure had fallen to 1.7 million.

It is a stark reminder that last week’s decision by Aer Lingus to close its cabin crew base at the airport was just the latest blow to hit the aviation sector in the mid-west, and the industries and staff who rely on ...