The Shannon Airport Authority has confirmed it is talking to three or four airlines about new services to hubs such as London Heathrow, Paris and Amsterdam.

As part of the development, it has just published a list of incentives available to any airline interested in setting up a base at Shannon.

Those incentives were put up on the authority's website yesterday evening.

A spokesman for the authority said they were confident they would find a replacement for the Aer Lingus service to Heathrow.

The new incentives apply from January 1, and the authority will be hoping to a new service in place from then. Aer Lingus is hoping to be operational at its new base in Belfast from December 10.

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus issued a statement last night predicting that Ryanair's appeal against the European Commission decision to block its attempted takeover of the airline would fail.