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United Airlines Inaugurates Seasonal Nonstop Shannon - Chicago Service

07 June 2013

United Airlines launched a seasonal nonstop service between Shannon (SNN) and its Chicago hub, O’Hare International Airport (ORD), today with a celebratory event at Shannon Airport.  The airline will operate five flights per week on the route until Aug. 27, 2013 (westbound).

James Mueller, United’s Vice President Atlantic & Pacific Sales, was joined by John Hennessey-Niland, Chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Pat Breen TD, Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Gregory, Director of Markets for Tourism Ireland and Rose Hynes, Chairperson of Shannon Airport, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the service  
“We are pleased to provide United customers with nonstop access to Chicago from the west coast of Ireland for the first time,” said Mueller.  “Having operated our Shannon-New York/Newark service successfully for 15 years, this new route will further benefit our customers in Ireland, offering faster access to one of the United States’ most popular business and tourism destinations as well as increased travel options throughout the Americas.”
Rose Hynes, Chairperson of Shannon Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome United Airlines today with this service, which is a huge boost to the tens of thousands annually who travel between the west of Ireland and Chicago.  These passengers can now avoid unnecessary transit times by flying directly into and out of the region itself through Shannon Airport.  Outbound passengers will also have the advantage of clearing Customs and Border Protection services at Shannon, which will also save them significant time on arrival in the US.  No other country in Europe has an airport with this facility.”

The Shannon-Chicago flight, UA67, departs Shannon daily (except Wednesday and Thursday) at 11:00 a.m., arriving in Chicago at 1:05 p.m. the same day.  The return flight, UA66, departs Chicago daily (except Tuesday and Wednesday) at 6:05 p.m., arriving in Shannon at 7:35 a.m. the following day (all times local).  Journey times are 8 hours 5 minutes westbound and 7 hours 30 minutes eastbound.  
The flights are operated by Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst® and 153 in United Economy®, including 45 Economy Plus® seats with added legroom and increased personal space.  
Customers arriving in Chicago from Shannon can benefit from convenient onward connections to more than 125 destinations across North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.  Pre-departure customs and immigration clearance at Shannon Airport allows faster and more efficient connections at Chicago/O’Hare for these customers.  United offers non-stop service to more destinations from its Chicago/O’Hare hub than any other carrier.  
United also cooperates with Aer Lingus on the Shannon-Chicago route through a codeshare agreement and frequent flyer programme benefits.
Home to United’s world headquarters, Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, telecommunications and transportation.  Located on the south-western shore of Lake Michigan, its distinctive skyline, rich cultural history and world-class dining, shopping and entertainment, draws visitors in their millions every year.  The city has close ties with Ireland and famously dyes the Chicago River green on St Patrick’s Day every year.

Onboard products and services on Shannon-Chicago flights
United BusinessFirst® offers a superior business-class service.  The BusinessFirst® seat reclines 180 degrees into a 6-foot, 4-inch/1.93-m lie-flat bed and features an Audio/Video on Demand entertainment system with a 15.4-inch/39-cm touch-screen monitor.   BusinessFirst® amenities include laptop power, USB ports and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.
United Economy® offers complimentary food, soft drinks, juices, tea, coffee and inflight entertainment.  Seats feature an adjustable headrest and personal seat-back monitor delivering a multi-channel Audio/Video on Demand inflight entertainment system.  
United Economy Plus® offers up to five inches/12.7 cm of extra legroom. Located near the front of the Economy cabin, the seats give the added benefit of allowing a swifter exit from the plane on arrival.  
  United also operates daily non-stop services to its New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, from Shannon, Dublin and Belfast, as well as a daily non-stop service between Dublin and its Washington, D.C. hub, Dulles International Airport.
United customers in Ireland can book flights by visiting united.com, calling United reservations on 1890 925 252 or contacting their travel agent.

About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,446 flights a day to more than 370 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United’s MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. According to the 4th annual Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey published by IdeaWorksCompany in May 2013, United has the most saver-style award-seat availability among the largest U.S. global airlines. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

About Shannon Airport
Shannon Airport is the most important port of entry into the western half of the island of Ireland.  The most westerly airport in Europe, Shannon is the only airport on the western seaboard - one of only two airports in the country - with transatlantic flights, servicing a market on transatlantic that stretches from the south/south west right up to the North West of Ireland.  This includes some of the country’s most popular tourist destinations – such as Cork, the Ring of Kerry, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare, Galway City and Connemara – as well as three of the country’s top four cities in Cork, Limerick and Galway, each with high-tech industrial bases in global growth sectors such as ICT, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. In 2013 Shannon Airport - which is open 24 hours per day 365 days per year - will have services to and from 33 destinations in eleven countries in Europe and North America.
Shannon is also the only airport on the entire western seaboard with flights to an international hub – it has services to six hubs in all - giving one-stop connectivity to thousands of destinations worldwide.  Shannon in 2009 became the first airport outside North America and the Caribbean to have full US Customs and Border Protection services, enabling passengers travelling to the US to pre-clear at Shannon and land in the US as a domestic passenger, saving them significant time on arrival.  No other country in Europe today has an airport with this facility.
Shannon, which was founded in the 1940s, also has a unique place in the history of aviation globally.  It was the first gateway’ airport between the Europe and the Americas, was the birthplace of Duty Free globally and the first airport outside of North America and the Caribbean to get US preclearance facilities.

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