Passengers boarded the Boeing 757-200 aircraft departing 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.
"Chicago is an important US gateway and is a really positive addition to the daily services we already offer from Shannon to New York, Boston and Newark. With a seat capacity of over 42,000, this strategic Chicago route not only benefits leisure and tourism travellers, but this direct service also provides important additional business connectivity for our customers.
"With our US preclearance facilities, passengers flying from Shannon can arrive in the US as domestic passengers, saving valuable time, especially for connecting flights. The enhanced security screening system we installed during the pandemic has eliminated the need to remove liquids and electronics from cabin bags, halving the time for our passengers in this area. This provides an added benefit for US bound passengers, as along with this, Shannon is the first airport in the world to provide a combined EU/TSA security screening system, meaning passengers only have one security check, making their journey through Shannon even easier."
"As the only US airline connecting Shannon with the United States, we are excited to launch our new service to United's hometown hub in Chicago," said Martina Coogan, head of corporate sales UK and Ireland, United Airlines.
"This is great news for travellers in the west of Ireland, providing even greater travel choice and the possibility to connect via our US hubs to over 100 destinations across the Americas," said Coogan.
United Airlines began operating from Shannon Airport in 1998, and since then has 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.
The airline's flight to Chicago builds on existing transatlantic nonstop daily seasonal services from Shannon to New York, Newark and Boston.
This year, Shannon Airport is offering 35 destinations to 11 countries across the EU, UK and USA.
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