It appears that Vueling, a low-cost airline based in Spain, is poised to discontinue its services from both Cork and Shannon airports during the upcoming summer season.
Although the airline has yet to provide an official statement, Cork Airport has confirmed that Vueling’s operations from the airport will come to a close in June. At present, Vueling operates two flights per week between Cork and Paris Orly, as well as between Shannon and Paris Orly.
A spokesperson for Cork Airport has stated that “Vueling will cease operations from Cork to Paris (Orly), with the last flight operating on June 11. Cork Airport understands that the rationale behind the cessation of services is attributable to capacity issues in Paris (Orly), with the Cork-Paris (Orly) service being one of three routes that will cease operating.”
The spokesperson has also announced that Air France will begin offering a daily service from Cork to Paris (Charles de Gaulle) later this month, while Aer Lingus will provide twice-weekly services to Charles de Gaulle for rugby fans traveling to the Rugby World Cup in September and October.
There has been speculation since earlier in the year that Vueling would halt services from Shannon to Paris Orly, and it now appears that flights from Shannon will end on June 10, just eight months after the service commenced.
Since last September, passengers had the opportunity to fly to Paris from Shannon twice a week for the first time in almost seven years thanks to Vueling. Previously, Ryanair and Aer Lingus had both offered flights to Paris, but later canceled their routes multiple times.
In 2010, Ryanair withdrew its service to Paris Beauvais, despite its profitability and success, in protest against the Dublin Airport Authority’s (DAA) plans to increase passenger charges at Shannon. Aer Lingus then resumed flights to Paris Charles De Gaulle, but the service was short-lived.
Ryanair later reintroduced the route after the Irish Government eliminated the controversial ‘travel tax,’ but the airline subsequently dropped it again due to “aircraft capacity constraints.”
In November 2019, Aer Lingus announced that it would include Paris as one of two new routes in its Shannon schedule starting in 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan was scrapped.
Michael McNamara, an independent TD for Clare, expressed disappointment at the news, saying, “This highlights the challenges facing smaller airports like Shannon in obtaining and maintaining routes to major cities and key hubs, and underscores the transient nature of airline route selection.”
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