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SNN / Shannon Stopover: What's The Latest?  
User currently offlineElagabal From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 197 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2545 times:

'Lo Everyone,

What was the last decision taken regarding the requirement that 50% of USA -Rep. of Ireland flights must serve Shannon (SNN)?

My understanding is that there was to be a discussion of the matter in the Dáil a few weeks ago, but this was mentioned en passant in another thread and (to my knowledge) no further info arose.

I've tried a brief search for SNN / Shannon in this forum, but got no paydirt.

On that subject, who are behind the pro-SNN stopover lobby, and what are the likely developments in the forseeable future? Surely the current situation is less than ideal, both for the airlines and environmentally...?

All comments, corrections, and reasoned speculation welcome. If I have missed a post or a good website, my apologies.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1462 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2511 times:

I dont think you missed out on anything.


The Irish Government recently announced some decisions relating to the future of Aer Lingus, and concerning Terminal Facilities at Dublin Airport, but made no announcement regarding the future of the Shannon stopover.

The Irish media did not really remark on this fact, even though the "stopover" was much rumoured to be part of the aviation "package". The US / EU aviation bilateral seems to be in a holding pattern at present.

Regarding the Stopover

For very many years all services to / from the USA from Ireland had to stop in Shannon. (Imagine if all Toronto / Ireland services had still to stop in Gander on the way from Toronto, or all JFK services had to stop in Bangor and you get the general idea.

This was modified to allow some direct services to Dublin, provided there was an equal service provided to SNN. (For every Dublin / Toronto service, one Dublin to Gander also, irrespective of market demand!). This is why the pattern was often ATL/SNN/DUB, to cover both airports.

The present rule is broadly that, if an airline operates to DUB it must also serve SNN. This seems to be slightly more relaxed in its application now with the new AA services to Ireland, where differing points in the USA serve DUB & SNN. Still two flights, but now from differing US cities. Previously it had to be the same city.

As to who are those support the SNN stopover, SNN Airport staff, local politicians and tourist interests in the near Shannon area.


User currently offlineElagabal From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2464 times:

Thanx Dstc. It was weird, hearing the rumours and then the whole issue just disappearing.

I can't fathom how such a small group of interests could be that powerful - that they could outdo Dublin's (and the rest of the country's) interests. It just seems surreal. Does Aer Rianta have anything to do with this? (That would explain a lot...)


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13039 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2441 times:

Don't forget that Shannon was near the site where the PanAm flying boats stopped on their then transatlantic USA-Europe flights. After WWII, as there was still a need to have a refuling stop there for trans-atlantic flights, a full airport was established at Shannon. Over the years, although the need for the fuel stop became unnecssary for most transatlantic flights, their was a need to keep the airport at some level of use to keep jobs at the airport itself and the related tourist businesses. For many years some airlines, such as Areoflot, used Shannon as a refuling stop for flights from Moscow to Cuba and Central American destinations. Even today, it is used as a fuel/crew stopover for aircraft deliveries by Airbus, Boeing and others.
I agree that the rule is foolish and nothing but protectionism (maybe illegal under EC and WTO rules?) as most people that go to Ireland are going mainly for Dublin for business or tourism. In June 1984, I took then Transamerica Airlines JFK-SNN-JFK (on a DC-8 !). (In October 1995, I also visited Ireland via Dublin by way of UK connections to/from JFK).


User currently offlineN77014 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2411 times:

Perhaps we will see a loosening of the 50% rule, or an allowance to serve SNN on a calendar year basis.

For example, CO could decide to serve DUB year round daily service, with seasonal service to SNN in the summer.


User currently offlineGearup From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 578 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2400 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 3):
For many years some airlines, such as Areoflot, used Shannon as a refuling stop for flights from Moscow to Cuba and Central American destinations. Even today, it is used as a fuel/crew stopover for aircraft deliveries by Airbus, Boeing and others.

To add to that, many US, Canadian and other armed forces aircraft transit through Shannon as well. It's a good place to spot C5's KC10's, C17's etc.

GU



I have no memory of this place.
User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2281 times:

Quoting Dstc47 (Reply 1):
Still two flights, but now from differing US cities. Previously it had to be the same city

Really? I did'nt know that was mandatory to fly to the same US city on both flights previously.

Quoting N77014 (Reply 4):
Perhaps we will see a loosening of the 50% rule, or an allowance to serve SNN on a calendar year basis.

For example, CO could decide to serve DUB year round daily service, with seasonal service to SNN in the summer.

To be honest, at this stage it is unlikley that anything will happen on the SNN stopover until the EU-USA openskies agreement is reached. When that agreement is reached, it will deem the SNN stopover illegal and it will have to be abolished immediatly.


User currently offlineDutchjet From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 7864 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2271 times:

While the SNN requirement may be good for the SNN area, and the employees at that airport, the result of the pollicy is not good for Ireland in general. I think that airlines would increase service into DUB if the SNN issue did not exist - many US airlines claim that the SNN requirement negates profits that could be made on DUB routes thus there is less service into Ireland. Requirements such as this do not work, especially in todays enviornment - the result is the loss of pax - I wonder how many pax travelling between the US and Dublin end up flying via the UK or AMS since, in many cases, they would have to stop in SNN anyway.

The comparison between SNN and Gander mentioned above is an interesting one - both airports were major refueling stops on transatlantic flights before airliners achieved the range to fly long routes nonstop.

Does the SNN requirement only apply to flights between Ireland and the US? Would other long range routes be affected - say, if EK was interested in opening a DUB-DXB route, would 1/2 of those flights have to visit SNN?


User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2257 times:

You sumerise the situation well DutchJet. Its EI who is the biggest looser as a result of the SN stopover. While all flights between Nth America and Ireland are subject to the 50/50 rule at SNN, in retaliation EI are also limited to operating sheduled flights to 5 US airports.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 7):
Does the SNN requirement only apply to flights between Ireland and the US? Would other long range routes be affected - say, if EK was interested in opening a DUB-DXB route, would 1/2 of those flights have to visit SNN?

The stopover applies to all flights between the US & Canada to the Rep of Ireland. The stopover does not apply in Northern Ireland. It would not apply to EK flights to/from Dubai or other Eastern or African routes to/from Ireland.

[Edited 2005-06-04 15:21:47]

[Edited 2005-06-04 15:23:15]

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11420 posts, RR: 61
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2241 times:

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 7):
While the SNN requirement may be good for the SNN area, and the employees at that airport, the result of the pollicy is not good for Ireland in general.

This is European socialist thinking at its worst, and it definitely hurts the Irish economy and Irish international air service as a whole.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 7):
I think that airlines would increase service into DUB if the SNN issue did not exist - many US airlines claim that the SNN requirement negates profits that could be made on DUB routes thus there is less service into Ireland.

No question about it. DL dropped JFK-Ireland because of SNN, and AA jumped into the market only this year because of a loosening of the SNN restrictions. I'm sure that if SNN stopovers were dropped, there would probably be 10 more flights a day from DUB to the U.S., and to new cities at that, but many airlines are hesitant about service to Ireland because -- as you said -- SNN has a fraction of the O&D demand of DUB and far less tourism demand.

[Edited 2005-06-04 15:25:15]

User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2224 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 9):
This is European socialist thinking at its worst, and it definitely hurts the Irish economy and Irish international air service as a whole.

Its not socialist, if the stopover were terminated there would be more jobs created in Ireland. Its a rule which has existed for decades. The Irish govt has many incentives which are designed to provide employment for underpopulated regions of western Ireland. The stopover is just one of them. They are designed to provide for even development throughout the country. Im sure there are similar schemes (not nessessarily aviation related) in the states.

The stopover is outdated and has only survived to this day due to local interest and political groups, as it is no longer needed to support jobs in the region around SNN.


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11420 posts, RR: 61
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2212 times:

Quoting EI321 (Reply 10):
Its not socialist

Sure it is, whether it has been around 50 years or 5. It was put in place to artificially preserve jobs in western Ireland that otherwise would have moved elswhere -- that is the practical definition of socialism!

Quoting EI321 (Reply 10):
The stopover is outdated and has only survived to this day due to local interest and political groups, as it is no longer needed to support jobs in the region around SNN.

I truly hope that the rest of Ireland will see what a harm it is to the overall Irish economy and end the stopover once and for all ASAP.


User currently offlineRichardJF From New Zealand, joined Mar 2001, 792 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2199 times:

Why doesn't the Shannon area just provide aggressive subsidies to airlines to fly there?

User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2173 times:

Quoting Commavia (Reply 11):
Sure it is, whether it has been around 50 years or 5. It was put in place to artificially preserve jobs in western Ireland that otherwise would have moved elswhere -- that is the practical definition of socialism!

What I mean is that in 2005 it is not a socialist policy, as it is widley known that if the stopover was removed in the morning, jobs would not be lost. It exists today because of special govt interests (seats in parliment), not for socialist reasons to provide employment. In the past the stopover was justified, but not now.

The only reason that there is a stopover rule today is the influence of lobby groups and political interests in the SNN region.

Its comparable to the tax incentives offered by certain US states to encourage the location of boeing parts production / assembly in areas that without such incentives, would not be as attractive. The same applies to govt subsidies given to airbus.

This also happens in Ireland, where the Irish govt has offered huge tax incentives to companys such as Intel to locate in locations which would not see this business if normal taxation costs applied.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 11):
I truly hope that the rest of Ireland will see what a harm it is to the overall Irish economy and end the stopover once and for all ASAP

But the problem is that the general public do not realise that the stopover is so destructive on a whole, and a lot of people will believe it when they hear the SNN lobby groups shouting that the stopover is nessessary to provide jobs @ SNN. The Irish govt will not do away with the stopover for fear of loosing govt seats in the SNN region. Unfortunatly, the stoppover will remain for the forseeable future for that reason.


User currently offlineEI321 From Iraq, joined Jul 2009, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

Quoting RichardJF (Reply 12):
Why doesn't the Shannon area just provide aggressive subsidies to airlines to fly there

To an extent it does, although not in direct subsidies. The recent boom in the amount of european routes to SNN is due to incentives offered by the airports authority. An example is an incentive offered in the post 9/11 slump which offered zero landing charges to new routes for the first three years of the routes operation.

Direct subsidies have backfired in many cases on the continent of europe (see FR).

FR recently established a base at SNN thanks to a deal for very low charges that was cut with the airports operators.

[Edited 2005-06-04 17:08:41]

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