Paul Duffy/SHANNON

THE LAUNCH OF the Aeroflot Russian International Airlines (ARIA) hub at Shannon, Ireland, has been delayed by negotiations with the Port of New York over slots at Kennedy International airport.

The required slots have now been obtained, but operations will not begin until 26 May.

Under the Shannon hub plan initiated by Aer Rianta, the Irish state-owned airports authority, an initial four CIS cities will be linked through to ARIA's New York and Chicago services.

Services to Shannon will be operated from Moscow, St Petersburg, Mineralne Vody, and Minsk by, respectively, ARIA, North West Civil Air Department, and Mineralovodskoe, all of Russia, and Belavia of Belarus.

Links will later be provided by Donavia, Aerovolga, and Air Moldova through to Rostov-on-Don, Samara, and Moldovan capital Kishinev, respectively. Air Ukraine is discussing possible services from Odessa and Lvov.

ARIA already had fifth-freedom rights from Shannon to Chicago and has now secured rights for transit passengers originating in CIS cities and going to New York.

Passengers can also transfer to other ARIA American services through Shannon, including flights to Washington DC, Miami, Havana, Lima and Santiago.

Source: Flight International