hidden europe 64

End of Shannon stopover

by hidden europe

Picture above: Shannon Airport on Ireland's west coast (photo © ShutterUpIreland / dreamstime.com).


It was never really efficient that wide-bodied jets would take to the sky in Dublin, and then make a brief stop at Shannon Airport near Ireland’s west coast, where Aer Lingus aircraft would share space on the tarmac with planes in Aeroflot or Cubana livery. Now it looks as though the Shannon stopover is being consigned to aviation history.

The airport at Shannon in County Clare has a singular place in the history of Irish civil aviation. It played a pioneering role in the development of transatlantic flights. It was at Shannon in 1947 that the notion of duty free sales for passengers on international flights was introduced, so creating a fiscal loophole that governments have rued ever since.

Shannon has geography on its side. Close to Ireland’s west coast, it’s always been a good jumping-off point for flights to North America. It was thus much valued in the pre-jet era when aircraft range was so much shorter than today. Many itineraries paired Shannon with Gander in Newfoundland to give the shortest possible oceanic sector.

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