Shannon Group, the body that runs Shannon airport and Shannon Heritage, has expressed disappointment at a decision by United Airlines not to resume its seasonal daily service between Shannon Airport and New York/Newark.

The move comes as the aviation industry battles with the fallout of the grounding of huge numbers of flights as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions on movement.

"United Airlines has been a long-standing customer of Shannon Airport for 22 years," said a spokesman for the Shannon Group.

"In that time their popular New York/ Newark service has provided important air connectivity for people and businesses in the Mid-West and along the west coast of Ireland."

"We are disappointed with the decision by United which shows the severity of the devastation in the global aviation sector caused by the Covid-19 crisis."

The group said it was widely acknowledged that transatlantic services in particular would be severely hit by the Covid-19 crisis and that a recovery on these routes would be slow.

However, it added that there is a strong market for transatlantic services into and out of the region, with the evidence being the significant number of passengers using them in the past.

"We will continue to work with them and all our airline partners as they work to re-establish their broader route network and would be hopeful of seeing a return of United's Newark service as soon as possible," Shannon Group said.

American Airlines, Delta and Aer Lingus have all indicated they will resume their transatlantic services from Shannon next year, the statement added.

The decision by United underlines the need for strong Government support of the travel and tourism sector, the group said.