Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin Int'l) is contemplating ending its transatlantic services from Shannon and moving the two A321-200NX(LR)s used to ply them to an airport in the United Kingdom, The Irish Times has reported.

According to sources, the Irish unit of IAG International Airlines Group has scouted British airports regarding their interest and their terms for the basing of aircraft for the transatlantic flights. It has received a total of six bids, including from Manchester Int'l and Birmingham Int'l, as well as four other undisclosed regional gateways in the UK.

Aer Lingus is looking to trial transatlantic routes out of the British airport in 2021 for an initial period of three years.

Ongoing travel restrictions impacting travel to and from Ireland are presumed to be the main reason behind the proposed move. However, while the UK and Ireland currently allow travellers coming from the United States to enter, they must do so with a formal obligation to self-quarantine for two weeks.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Aer Lingus normally uses the two A321-200NX(LR)s based out of Shannon to operate flights to Boston and New York JFK, as well as London Heathrow. Both transatlantic services have been suspended since March 20, 2020, while the route to Heathrow has been suspended since March 30. Aer Lingus's transatlantic services from Shannon are tentatively scheduled to restart on September 22. Shannon airport said it was in talks with Aer Lingus regarding the restart of transatlantic flights.

Aer Lingus currently uses three of its four A321-200NX(LR)s to operate flights from Dublin Int'l to Boston and Heathrow. The fourth has been stored since April 20, 2020, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows.

The Irish carrier is the only airline planning to operate transatlantic services from Shannon in 2020. American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) plans to resume its route from Philadelphia Int'l on May 7, 2021, while Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) and United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) said they will not be restarting Shannon flights in 2021.

Aer Lingus does not operate any transatlantic flights from the UK. Its only British base is London Heathrow.

The Irish carrier refused to comment on the report.