View Full Version : Shannon stopover on way out?

10th Oct 2001, 02:58
During Irish news 2 programme this evening, they showed the front page of the papers a la J. Paxman, and the Independent [prop. Dr. Sir A.J.F. O'Reilly, aka "The Bean Baron"] carried that the stopover was being dropped. The paper's online site hasn't been updated yet so no details.

10th Oct 2001, 04:06
About time !!!!!!!

10th Oct 2001, 21:18
"In fact eh I told the spanners that the stopover stays....jeassus with an election comin up the deputies in the SW would go mad "

The Irish Taoiseach (Prime minister)has said that it's to stay......for how long is the question.

Tom the Tenor
11th Oct 2001, 00:33
Mark, that Shannon stopover will be axed to be replaced with a new Cork stopover :D ! Was up at the cabbage patch this morning and just 4 pax got on the DHC-8 to Newcastle. Not good. Also, was in the bar there for the first time in ages and have you noticed how tacky the bar furniture is beginning to look. Very shabby, indeed.

11th Oct 2001, 00:42
I think the General Election is the key.

Even if Brussels tells them to end the farce, the current government is well capable of stalling the EU for a few months. It will make them look tough and decisive to the electorate :rolleyes: . Always ready to protect the "National Interest" (even when they're damaging it).

I would expect the stopover to be axed just AFTER the election. The new government will hope it will all be forgotten by the 2006(or whenever) election.


11th Oct 2001, 00:58
The sad thing is that they think they are fooling people by this? Do they really think people in Shannon - who held onto this with an iron grip for so many years - will be so easily fooled by this transparency?

With Aer Lingus in serious trouble (how much must it cost them to fly empty 330s from SNN to BOS and JFK?) and European airlines badly needing a more liberal policy for US access, it seems pathetic that one government can not only ****** its own country's interests, but obstruct the rest of the EU as well.

One further thought: is it possible that if EI feels its competitive potential is being undermined by this nonsense, it could take an action against the gov't in the ECJ and even obtain damages for the financial losses it has incurred - might be a way to finance the redundancies?

11th Oct 2001, 01:04
You have to remember that the Government owns Aer Lingus. I don't know if they're legally entitled to take their owner to court. Even if they are, they could only expect to be punished for their dis-obedience to their political masters - both the company and the individuals in management who stood up to them.


11th Oct 2001, 15:32
One of the most absurd aspects of the stopover is that it is virtually a misnomer now; yes, there are - because of the "one for one" rule, a fair number of flights still flying between DUB and SNN, but what is most objectionable (and illogical) is the linkage between the two. Why should DUB be held back and why should a market of 100k be expected to match demand in a market of 1m?

I have no great objection to a smaller number of routes being required, but independent of Dublin; let it grow to matc its potential which (when the current crisis has blown over) will clearly be significant.

So, why does it remain in place? Why isn't this question being addressed? It seems that there is a significant body of opinion in the west which cares more about what Dublin gets than what it can cater for. Dog in a manger attitudes, if you will . . .

12th Oct 2001, 01:31
A way out!!!In Brussels today the commissioner responsible Mrs di Fudgio said that governments could bale out state airlines ONLY if they were insolvent!(I'm serious)This gives the Irish government the option of forcing AL to land in Shannon once (or more)per sector thereby saving the Shannon stopover,making AL insolvent and allowing a rescue package!!This would guarantee huge eloctorate approval and another term of office.And who says politicians are out of touch? ;) ;)

12th Oct 2001, 05:08
I think maybe you boys should relax, just a little. Aeroplanes originating out of Shannon destined for The US of A are not flying, necessarily direct to the US. Either out bound or inbound passengers may be found on board(usually full) but the cost is either Shannon to Dublin, or Dublin to Shannon but certainly not a Trans Atlantic flight. Before getting on high horses please learn the facts. If a carrier flies Shannon direct to the States it is because they choose to.

[ 12 October 2001: Message edited by: Ellion ]

12th Oct 2001, 14:14

The Shannon stopover is holding up the re-negotiation of the US bilateral which severely limits the possibility of new US services - witness EI flying to BWI rather than IAD due to getting around this problem using a secondary airport.

"Airlines fly from SNN because they choose to" - if they *choose* to fly to DUB then they *must* choose to fly to SNN! Those are the terms of the stopover as currently constituted.

As previously discussed, this is also impeding Ire-Can services, e.g. DUB-YYZ as it would have to have the route DUB-SNN-YUL-YYZ!

Finally, while the cost of DUB-SNN is not that of a transatlantic, it does add cycles to the airframe, not just hours. Thus a DUB-JFK, DUB-SNN-JFK route is 25percent more cycles than DUB-JFK alone.

12th Oct 2001, 16:48
It could only happen in Ireland.
Many years ago when I was staying in Dublin to "fight" the EI Sim., there was a coin slot machine on the side of the TV in the hotel room. I put the 10p in but couldn't get the TV to work. On reporting the problem at reception I was informed with a straight face that I shouldn't complain as a lot of the rooms didn't even have a TV. :)

12th Oct 2001, 20:13
Right on the money, MarkD. Unfortunately (if I'm not mistaken), a change in the stopover allowing the Europe-US bilateral to go ahead would not affect Canada and the current situation would still continue. (I was not aware of the YUL element, but it wouldn't surprise me).

Surely Canada is a perfect example of the damage this idiocy causes; no one wins - not Shannon, Dublin or any of the airlines and there must be a potentially good business for flights between the two countries.

Irish aviation "policy" really does beggar belief sometimes.

13th Oct 2001, 00:05
The Shannon Stopover is idiotic at best,- It's very Irish to say the least.Commercial aviation should be market driven and be about flying passengers to and from destinations of their choice. To be fair to Aer Lingus (executives), they have opposed this nonsense for years but have had to put up with unbelieveable interference from the government, who maintain this idiotic policy for the sake of votes in the Shannon region. The Aer Lingus board are Fianna Fail politically appointed hacks, who have no power whatsoever and merely rubberstamp Mary O'Rourke's provincial misguided policies.
Why on earth should any flight from a European capital city to/from New York be forced to land in a bog airport in the middle of nowhere?

13th Oct 2001, 06:23
I agree with all the comments here. It is ludicrous and I'd go further and call it a disgrace. Can you imagine all Heathrow departures to the states having to stop at Cardiff??!! No doubt with Emirates looking at starting a DUB-DXB service, Shannon will be looking to get the flight to stop at SNN first before it goes east!
The stopover costs airlines a fortune, which is exactly what a Delta executive pointed out to a friend of mine during a DUB-ATL flight over the summer.

Both CO and DL said they would use the existence of the stopover to block any new Aer Lingus routes opening up in the US, (unlikely now anyway)

How long do people in Dublin have to go on subsidising the rest of the country? Why does the Dub economy have to continually suffer at the hands of the rural cute hoors?


15th Oct 2001, 14:43
Not sure I agree with all of you on the Snn stopover as it affects Aer Lingus.Despite all the rhetoric over the years I can't recall Aer Lingus calling for an end to it ( Iknow !I know! about the political angle). But look at it this way. Aer Lingus already has a base at Snn which they need for UK/EU flights ,and which handles T/Atlantic flights with probably no huge extra cost , as the staff will be there anyhow. Now a US airline wanting to fly to Dublin must operate a one for one at Snn. This involves setting up at Snn with a huge cost in staff, special security etc.etc. and then replicating these costs in Dublin.All of ths probably makes the route marginal and discourages only the most determined.The more US carriers you discourage the better and the higher yeild for Aer Lingus.So it's not as simple as it seems.

15th Oct 2001, 15:29
I'd agree with most of that, but in 1991 ALT not only publicly called for the abolition of the SNN stop but actually went ahead and bought B767's to open a new direct route to LAX...on the understanding (assumption?) that the stop was indeed to be dropped.
Two Fianna Fail TD's in the West (Sile DeValera being one of them) then resigned the party whip and threatened to lead a political revolt against FF.

ALT were told the stop would remain.

The B767s were parked around the back of the airport for months before being finally disposed of.
This is the kind of political interference that has driven ALT to it's knees.

The unions haven't helped one iota either though.

(By the way, what you said about the strangle put on competition by the SNN stop is actually dead right. It's an irony that the stop also saves ALT from massive competition into EIDW by US carriers.)

15th Oct 2001, 22:01
now if they could do SHA-DUB-USA then wouldnt that make everyone happy. Although the thought of a 330 doing a small run like that does seem daft. Like BA running a 744 from edi-lhr.

16th Oct 2001, 01:06
Re: "it could only happen in Ireland", it happened in Scotland...

16th Oct 2001, 05:46
Errr, V50...that's exactly what they are doing.
The ALT A330 fleet is officially based in SNN to allow for service like you described!

As to the logic of an A330 doing SNN-DUB...that's a bloody improvement over what used happen.

I remember in the late 80's (around the time that the JAL 747 crashed due to the total hydraulic failure brought on by the failure of the rear pressure bulkhead) Flight International produced an article suggesting that the failure occurred because the particular aircraft was one of the highest cycled 747's in the world. They stated that it operated the worlds shortest B747 scheduled route between Tokyo and (I think) Nagasaki.

I couldn't believe the gaff by such a reputable publication. I almost wrote them a letter.
The Tokyo-Nagasaki(?) route was twice as far as the scheduled Aer Lingus 747 service from DUB to SNN (and v.v.)

As someone else said...only in Ireland.

17th Oct 2001, 03:49
Nice to see you with an actual opinion rather than just chirpping in with your usual c**p 2 lines.

Anyways...i say the Shannon stopover should go....but nobody in government will sign the papers if they really want to ever see the inside of Dail Eireann again.

It is such stupidity to have to stop or fly round robin flights via Shannon...and i agree with both CO and DAL for blocking any other routes that ALT may apply for in the US(although highly unlikely with what's going on right now) until the stopover is abolished.
When ALT bought those B767s for the LAX route DAL applied for the right to fly direct to Dublin using the rights on the route given to them when they bought Pan Am
but the Irish goverment....(also the ONLY shareholder in ALT, said....to DAL who had an L1011 ready for the route) "don't call us, we'll call you"....
The government delayed and delayed and eventually the L1011 went elsewhere and ALT never got the LAX route.
The B767's as i recall then were wet leased to Air Aurba and the ALT B767 drivers got to spend some nice days on the beaches in Aurba travelling via Amsterdam.

Now ALT lost their LAX route...plus 2 B767's and DAL never got to operate from JFK...
Both of them in a few years did get what both were looking for....although DAL still operates round robin flights via SNN.

Why should this happen....i have it on good authority that Air Canada would also operate direct to Dublin IF the SNN stopover was taken out.....but won't till then.....
So why doesn't the stupid ministers get off their arses and do something about it....
Wouldn't this create more revenue and interest in Ireland....and bring even more US carriers into Ireland and create a better choice on the Atlantic and save all the Paddys the trouble of going via LHR.....
What country in the world has this policy... i don't know....but the one thing i do know is as long as ALT and the Irish government are Shareholders alike....then Shannon stopover will remain....and leave all us Paddys the laughing stock of the aviation world...... :mad: :mad: :mad:

17th Oct 2001, 09:31
As I see it, there is a small number of options:
1) The US revokes our bilateral - unlikely.
2) The EU forces a change, as part of the condition for a guaranteed loan for EI, this change also being needed to complete the EU-US bilateral
3) US airlines, CO/DL threaten pullout until govt gets its act together - which may result in one US city (LAX?) being w/drawn

No2 seems most likely to me, although the EU is moving very slowly, perhaps because of intense Irish diplomatic moves. However, MO'R will be in BRU on Friday to push the case for a guaranteed loan and the issue may come up then. The EU will play hard ball on this and is by no means guaranteed to allow the guarantee. However, the ace card the Irish govt holds now is the Nice treaty, which was rejected in June. Unions have said, basically, no aid, no Nice.

If this does not result in the ending of the stopover, I would expect the US carriers, who must be fairly exasperated now, to look at their Irish operations and the likelihood of them being profitable through the Winter and Summer, in the current market conditions, and then present an ultimatum.

I have to disagree that any politician who "signs the papers" is out of Dail Eireann. Firstly, as much as the Shannon people might like to portray otherwise, it's them against everyone else. Dublin is the hub for other domestic routes - Donegal, Galway, Sligo, Kerry etc,- not Shannon. Also, more fundamentally, what we are talking about is not so much a stopover but a linkage. HOW does the removal of the current linkage (i.e. 1 for 1) hurt Shannon? This question simply has not been asked and only Mary Harney so far has asked it. We're back to 1992/3 again - the Shannon crowd is using a big stick and the governemnt is cowering.