United Airlines launched its non-stop service between Shannon and Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Friday with a celebratory event at Shannon Airport. The airline will operate five flights per week on the route until 27thAugust 2013 (westbound).
James Mueller, United’s Vice President Atlantic & Pacific Sales, was joined by John Hennessey-Niland, Chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Dublin; Pat Breen TD, Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade; Simon Gregory, Director of Markets for Tourism Ireland; and Rose Hynes, Chairperson of Shannon Airport, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the service.
“We are pleased to provide United customers with non-stop access to Chicago from the west coast of Ireland for the first time,” said James Mueller. “Having operated our Shannon – New York/Newark service successfully for 15 years, this new route will further benefit our customers in Ireland, offering faster access to one of the United States’ most popular business and tourism destinations as well as increased travel options throughout the Americas.”
Rose Hynes said: “We are delighted to welcome United Airlines today with this service, which is a huge boost to the tens of thousands annually who travel between the west of Ireland and Chicago. These passengers can now avoid unnecessary transit times by flying directly into and out of the region itself through Shannon Airport. Outbound passengers will also have the advantage of clearing Customs and Border Protection services at Shannon, which will also save them significant time on arrival in the USA. No other country in Europe has an airport with this facility.”
Shannon – Chicago flight UA67 departs Shannon daily (except Wednesday and Thursday) at 11.00, arriving in Chicago at 13.05 the same day. Return flight UA66 departs Chicago daily (except Tuesday and Wednesday) at 18.05, arriving in Shannon at 07.35 the following day. Journey times are 8 hours 5 minutes westbound and 7 hours 30 minutes eastbound.
The flights are operated by B757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in BusinessFirst and 153 in Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
Customers arriving in Chicago from Shannon can benefit from convenient onward connections to more than 125 destinations across North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Pre-departure customs and immigration clearance at Shannon Airport allows faster and more efficient connections at Chicago O’Hare for these customers. United offers non-stop service to more destinations from its Chicago O’Hare hub than any other carrier.
United also co-operates with Aer Lingus on the Shannon – Chicago route through a codeshare agreement and frequent flyer programme benefits.