It was take off for Shannon Airport’s new Chicago service with United Airlines on Friday as the first flight took to the skies towards the windy city.
At 8.50am this morning, excited passengers boarded the Boeing 757-200 aircraft departing at 9.30am, for the first daily seasonal Chicago service from Shannon bound for O’Hare International Airport.
Speaking at a gate celebration to mark the occasion, Mary Considine, CEO of the Shannon Airport Group said: “This is a significant boost for Shannon Airport, and we are delighted to have this direct daily seasonal service to Chicago back serving the transatlantic market. United Airlines are a valued airline partner at Shannon and this service shows the continued appeal of Shannon and the West of Ireland.”
Shannon already offers daily flights to New York, Boston and Newark.
Pictured prior to boarding the first Chicago flight at Shannon Airport were L-R Ronan Hanley, Pallasgreen Limerick, Lydia Halas, Castletroy Limerick, James Hanley, Aaron Clifford, Dooradoyle Limerick and Askeaton Limerick. Photo: Arthur Ellis.
Like Dublin Airport, Shannon offers US pre-clearance which means passengers arrive in the US with the same status as domestic passengers, saving time for their trip or connecting flight.
The security screening system Shannon installed during the pandemic has eliminated the need to remove liquids and electronics from cabin bags, in another boost to travel time.
United Airlines began operating from Shannon Airport in 1998, and since then have carried over 2.2 million passengers.
The airline previously operated a Shannon/Chicago service from 2013 to 2017. At that time, the airline operated five-times weekly. The 2023 service operates seven-days-a-week and has the capacity to generate an additional 42,000 passengers through Shannon Airport.
This year, Shannon Airport is offering 35 destinations to 11 countries across the EU, UK and USA.