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SUZY in the CITY IN DUBLIN: It's plane sailing in airport boom; FIRMS SAY TRAFFIC IS ON THE UP.

Byline: IAN GRAHAM

AN American airline is to start operating two new services to the Irish Republic next year.

In a move signalling the continuing return of confidence in the air industry following the shock effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks, US Airways said they would fly from their Philadelphia hub to both Dublin and Shannon.

Aer Rianta, the state-backed company that runs both airports, said it had beaten off stiff European competition to secure the route, and the development followed six months of negotiations.

Chairman Noel Hanlon said the new services would strengthen passenger growth on the transatlantic route.

He added: "I can assure US Airways we will work with them to make this a success."

Aer Rianta also welcomed an announcement by the Braathens airline that it is to begin a three-days-a-week service from Dublin to Oslo, Norway, from next March.

Braathens, owned by Scandinavian Airlines, said the service would bring benefits to both business and tourist travel between Norway and Ireland.

The Dublin-Oslo service was previously operated by Scandinavian Airlines up to October, 2001, when it closed because of the international air industry downturn.

Budget airline Ryanair also announced the 15th route from its German Frankfurt-Hahn base - a new daily service to Gothenburg in Sweden which will begin on February 6 2003 with fares starting at EUR29.99.

This comes just weeks after Ryanair announced it was to base two further aircraft at Frankfurt with four new routes to Rome, Bologna,Stockholm and Barcelona, starting today.

n Meanwhile, workers at the Aer Rianta-owned Great Southern Hotels Group will be balloted on strike action, it was revealed yesterday.

SIPTU, which represents 700 full-time workers at Great Southern, says it is unhappy with any moves towards privatising the hotels without consultation with the unions.

The ballot follows Great Southern's move to close and sell the Torc Hotel, Kerry.

Eamon McKeon, chief executive of Great Southern, has already written to all employees about the proposed sale of the hotel, which did not represent a change in management-employee relationships.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 5, 2002
Words:339
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