An airline that has begun to use Shannon for technical stops could soon be operating scheduled services from the mid-west airport for scheduled cargo services.
Turkish Airlines has started using Shannon as a refuelling stop for a cargo service it operates between Istanbul and Chicago.
It’s understood that talks have taken place which could see a bi-lateral agreement between Ireland and Turkey. Turkey would require Fifth Freedom Rights before it could operate any services, cargo or passenger, between Ireland and the U.S.
In the meantime, the airline will make twice-weekly refuelling stopovers at Shannon however there’s some hope that a more permanent arrangement is in the pipeline.
An airport spokesman said: “We are delighted today to welcome a new carrier, Turkish Cargo, a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines, at Shannon for what will be a regular technical stop. We look forward to working with the airline and building a lasting relationship with it ahead.”
“The scheduled twice weekly A330 freighter service serving Istanbul-Shannon-Chicago may soon be picking up freight for Ireland and, should demand arise, there are plans to fly a wide bodied craft for both freight and passengers giving Shannon a year round Chicago link as well as direct flights to Istanbul,” the spokesman said.
Turkish Airlines now fly to 219 international and 43 domestic destinations and recently inaugurated a double daily service to Dublin.
While the airline will use Shannon on Monday’s and Thursday’s for technical stops, there’s hope that cargo services could commence in the coming weeks.