Aer Lingus is considering moving its Transatlantic services from Shannon (SNN/EINN) to an airport in the UK as Irish Government Covid-19 travel restrictions have left the two Airbus A321LR aircraft it has based there grounded.
Six UK airports, including Edinburgh and Manchester, are bidding for the routes according to the Irish Times with the transatlantic services starting in 2021.
Aer Lingus is understood to have requested tenders three weeks ago from airports who wish the two aircraft to be based there and for the airline to operate transatlantic flights in a deal likely to last a minimum of three years.
If the Irish flag carrier does take the aircraft away from Shannon it will be a huge blow the County Clare airport and to the whole of West Ireland which is heavily reliant on tourism.
Shannon Group has said it is in talks with Aer Lingus in a bid to restore services from Shannon and a spokesperson for the group said the flights were “critical” to the region.
Irish Government COVID-19 travel restrictions are much tougher than many other countries and have left Irish airports struggling with passenger numbers far less than normally expected.
Anyone arriving into Ireland, with the exception of just 10 countries, must quarantine for 14 days.
The airline warned it may have to cut more jobs as a result of the ongoing impact of travel restrictions.
It is unclear who the other four airports bidding for the services are, but they are understood to be larger regional airports.