29 January 2007
West Council hails US flights
"Absolutely fantastic news" was how Sean Hannick, Chairman Council for the West, greeted the revelation that Ireland West Airport Knock is to inaugurate scheduled transatlantic services to New York and Boston in May of this year.
Mr Hannick said the late Monsignor James Horan would be delighted with the initiative. "It was always the dream of the late Monsignor James Horan to have air connections established between the West of Ireland and America.
"Many people remember the huge efforts made in the 1980s and 1990s to establish a transatlantic link through Knock and the difficulties encountered then.
"With a potential to facilitate 56,000 US tourists with an estimated spend of up to45 million euro by 2008, the service will be a major plus for tourism in the region which can do with all the assistance it can get," said Mr Hannick.
Urging support for the flights, Mr Hannick called the announcement one of the most important in the 20 year history of the Airport. He said he was confident that the provision of the service to New York and Boston would bring other major benefits to the region in the longer term.
"Everyone connected with this initiative must be congratulated," he added.
Note to Editors:
Low cost carrier Flyglobespan will operate three services a week from Ireland West Airport Knock, to JFK Airport New York, commencing on 27th May 2007, and two flights a week to Logan Airport Boston, commencing on 30th May 2007.
The new flights have the potential to bring up to 35,000 US tourists and an estimated 28 million Euro spending boost to the region and this is expected to grow to over 26,000 US tourists with an estimated spend of up to 45 million Euro by 2008.
The Council for the West is a voluntary, independent, non-political body which monitors and reports on the socio-economic state of the West and acts as a lobby group promoting the development of the West. The Council for the West was set up by the Western Bishops and has successfully campaigned for retention of Objective 1 Status for the region.
It continues to campaign for balanced regional development and highlights issues of major concern for the region.
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