Alexia and Richard both have blog posts today which concentrate on the fact that ire should not be directed at Aer Lingus and the Transport Minister and some frank reassesments should occur on the abilities of Shannon and Limerick to attract business instead. Seriously, if a company decides to pull out, they might be jerks for impacting on the lives of a lot of people but why are we not seeing a collective reaction of “Fuck you, we don’t need you anyway, jerks” ? It is obvious to Aer Lingus that Belfast is more lucrative for them than Shannon, so why not change that? If Aer Lingus was the match that held up the whole house, then that is a MAJOR worry and as Alexia said, why the fuck should Aer Lingus be bribed to make them stay and the same offer not given to anyone else?
We do remember the days of Aer Lingus charging us 400 quid to the UK, right?
Funny that: When jobs and opportunities traveled North/South the silence was deafening but when the tide turned!!!! WTF odds about it, the jobs are still in the country.
Losing regular service from Shannon to Heathrow means people in the region will be pressed to conduct business in the UK as quickly as the current flight schedule allows. But who knows? Turboprops into London can make good profits for the operators and there may be a propeller-driven option on the drawing boards already.
It would seem Aer Lingus have been given a government grant to bring their ‘UK hub’ to Belfast? which they never had in Shannon and people are thinking this is an unfair advantage.
What we have to remember is that they are not just going to Heathrow but they have launched 8 routes from Belfast. It’s clearly a profit-driven decision although they could have managed it a lot better.
There are also stories they will pay their staff less in the north than in the south which isn’t fair.
I’d say another airline will step in to service the west if it’s needed.
Yeah, it makes commercial sense. It may also make commercial sense to fly from Heathrow to somewhere other than Dublin and Cork too. This was the fear if Aer Lingus was sold to another airline or company.
Letting cities rise and fall through market forces alone may have worked for Chicago so far but what about that other great American city – New Orleans.
Or how about something a lot closer to home – Mahon. You could say – f*ck them – they got themselves into this mess, they can dig themselves out and we don’t need to subsidise community employment schemes, regeneration projects or stuff like that – why throw good money after bad?
It’s the government’s job to help the people of Shannon and Mahon; to give them the chances that the free market mightn’t
The fact that Shannon/LHR is the match that brings the house down isn’t a problem with regional development, it’s a problem with the whole country. Earlier this year, Joe Macri (M$ CEO Ireland) said that ten years ago there were at least five things getting foreign investment into Ireland (cheap labour, education standards, EU access, etc). Now, it’s down to one thing – low corporation tax.
The low corporation tax might be enough when there’s easy transport links, but if they go, so will a lot of investment.
Reading the new O’Leary biography on my RyanAir flight to London this a.m. Great insight into the battle Ryan fought with the government to be allowed take-off.
I didn’t realise how backward it was.
The Heathrow link was always very convenient for flying onto other locations within Europe. Its not the be all and end all but to business people it will be a major pain in the ass to try and fly from the west of Ireland to some where in Europe.
As Bernie pointed out a Turbo prop option could sort the problem out
The problem here is that the Heathrow landing slots are extremely valuable.
Before this happened Aerlingus was leasing 2 of it’s landing slots in Heathrow to BMI and Continental. If the Belfast Heathrow link doesn’t work out because of the competition on the route, Aerlingus can always lease out the slots to someone else.
The government has to take some responsibility here, unless of course they admit that they were uttering complete bollox last year in order to push ahead with privitisation. Re-reading the statements from the minister from last year and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the 25.1% stake retained by the government was to protect against exactly this sort of thing.
I wonder will the Government proceed with the de-centralisation of the dept of foreign affairs overseas development department to Limerick. I hope they don’t need to do much travelling. They have to proceed because if they don’t they are effectively saying that they can’t operate in the mid west so how can they expect other businesses to?
As far as I can see it there’s been some murky deal here, where the government have agreed to contribute to Northern Ireland’s economic development by handing them two free pairs of Heathrow slots that rightfully belonged to the people of Shannon and the mid-west.
That’s why they’ve been so reluctant to say anything on the matter. The price of peace was selling out an important economic link and legacy of Shannon and the mid-west.
The Shannon-Heathrow slots could be worth anything up to â‚¬20m. Therefore, if Aer Lingus want to take those slots to Belfast, they should pay Shannon Development Agency or whoever the lobby group is down there the money and they can then use the money as they wish – probably to provide an incentive to another airline to re-establish the Heathrow link.
Jersey in the Channel Islands re-instated its twice daily Heathrow return flight earlier this year and paid BMI an incentive – the figure was not made public – but one blog rumour suggested it was Â£10 million, which effectively covers the cost of the Heathrow slots.
[…] Screw you Aer Lingus, We don’t need your fecking green planes anyway – Damien Mulley […]