Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Birmingham-Shannon Air Services.

2.

asked the Minister for Transport and Power whether Aer Lingus propose to operate scheduled services between Birmingham and Shannon; and, if not, why.

I am informed by Aer Lingus that they have no plans at present to operate between these points because traffic potential would not sustain a regular service at an economic level.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary say if Aer Lingus carried out a survey into the potential and, if so, when?

I have no information on that. The information I have from Aer Lingus is that, as of now, they are satisfied that there is not sufficient potential to justify operating a service of this nature.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that there is a demand for such a service, particularly in view of the fact that a considerable proportion of Irish people in Birmingham come from the west and southwest? Approaches have been made to Aer Lingus and would the Parliamentary Secretary take the matter up with them and ask them to examine the potential and carry out a survey again?

The only way the potential could be judged to any extent would be the present usage of the Manchester-Shannon service which was only inaugurated in the summer of 1965. That particular service does not indicate that at present a separate service would be justified from Birmingham. However, I can arrange to have the Deputy's questions drawn to the attention of Aer Lingus.