Aer Lingus launches direct Dublin-Minneapolis route

Dublin Airport has announced the introduction of a new direct service to Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota.

The new Dublin-Minneapolis route will be operated by Aer Lingus using a Boeing 757 aircraft. The new route will initially operate six times weekly, increasing to a daily, year-round service from this August.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘This is Aer Lingus’ 14th transatlantic route from Dublin Airport and its 11th new transatlantic route in the past five years.

‘We have been working closely with Aer Lingus since 2014 to grow its North American business and build a substantial transfer business. The new route offers customers significant onward connections in both directions.’

Aer Lingus’ Chief Executive Stephen Doyle, added: ‘We are delighted to commence Ireland’s first and only direct service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota State. The Minneapolis-St. Paul region holds great promise for Aer Lingus particularly in terms of the connections we can offer to UK and European guests as well as those travelling from North America and onwards to Europe.’

Passengers travelling to Minneapolis-St. Paul on the Aer Lingus’ service can make use of the US Pre Clearance facilities at Dublin Airport, as they will be able to arrive in the US by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure.

This new route means that Dublin Airport now has nine airlines flying 464 flights per week to and from 18 destinations in the US and six destinations in Canada, which equates to an average of 66 flights daily to and from North America.

Dublin Airport has flights to nearly 200 destinations in 43 countries, operated by 53 airlines. So far this year, more than 12.3 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport, a seven percent increase compared to the first five months of last year. An additional 764,000 passengers travelled through Dublin Airport between January and May.

Aer Lingus to commence new Dublin-Seattle direct service

Irish airlines Aer Lingus is launching a new four times weekly, year-round direct service to Seattle from Dublin Airport.

The new Seattle service will have onward connections from Dublin to 24 other cities including Berlin, Edinburgh, Brussels and Hamburg. Seattle will be Aer Lingus’ third city on the west coast of the US with direct flights from Dublin, the other direct services being to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Commenting on the new service, Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘This is Aer Lingus’ 13th transatlantic route from Dublin Airport and its tenth new transatlantic route in the past four years. I have no doubt Seattle will be a popular destination for both business and leisure passengers and will further boost trade and travel between Ireland and the US.’

‘Dublin Airport’s transatlantic traffic has doubled in the past five years and Dublin is now the fifth largest airport in Europe for North American connectivity after Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam,’ added Harrison.

Passengers travelling on Aer Lingus’ new service to Seattle will use US Pre Clearance facilities at Dublin, enabling them to save time on arrival in the US by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure. A pre cleared passenger will be able skip all queues on arrival in the US airport.

The new service to Seattle is one of five new long-haul routes being launched by Aer Lingus this year. The Irish airline has already launched a new direct service to Philadelphia in March, Air Canada will operate flights to Montreal, Cathay Pacific will launch a new direct route to Hong Kong and Hainan Airlines will start direct services to Beijing.

This summer season Dublin Airport will have flights to 195 destinations in 42 countries, operated by 56 airlines, the airport said. More than 8.7 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the first four months of this year.

Aer Lingus announces new Dublin – Philadelphia service; Dublin Airport to add five long-haul routes

Aer Lingus is planning to launch a new direct service to Philadelphia from Dublin Airport.

The Irish airline will initially operate its year-round services four times per week, increasing to a daily service from May, 2018. The new service to Philadelphia will have onward connections from Dublin to 24 other cities including Berlin, Edinburgh, Brussels and Hamburg.

Commenting on the move, Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said: ‘This is Aer Lingus’ 11th transatlantic route from Dublin Airport and we are delighted to see its route network go from strength to strength.’

‘I have no doubt Philadelphia will be a popular destination for both business and leisure passengers and will further boost trade and travel between Ireland and the US,’ he added.

Passengers travelling on Aer Lingus’ new service to Philadelphia will be able to use US Pre Clearance facilities at Dublin allowing passengers to save time on arrival in the US by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure. A pre- cleared passenger can avoid all queues on arrival in the US, excluding any final taxi service.

Aer Lingus’ new service to Philadelphia is the first of five new long-haul routes to launch this year at Dublin Airport. While Aer Lingus is set to launch a new Seattle route in the next few weeks, Air Canada will operate flights to Montreal, Cathay Pacific will launch a new direct route to Hong Kong and Hainan Airlines will start direct services to Beijing, Dublin Airport said.

‘Dublin Airport’s transatlantic traffic has doubled in the past five years and Dublin is now the fifth largest airport in Europe for North American connectivity after Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam,’ Harrison noted.

Dublin Airport has flights to 195 destinations in 42 countries operated by more than 50 airlines.

More than 3.8 million passengers have travelled through Dublin Airport in the first two months of 2018, a five per cent increase on the first two months of last year, the airport said.

Aer Lingus Regional announces new service from Cornwall to Cork Airport for summer

Aer Lingus Regional has said the airline will operate a service from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Cork Airport, for summer 2017.

Situated in southern Ireland, Cork is one of Ireland’s most scenic Irish cities and tourist destinations. The airline currently operates flights from Cornwall Airport Newquay to Dublin Ireland.

The new service, which will commence on May 6, will be operated twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday, with fares from GBP35.49 each way including taxes and charges. Aer Lingus’ services are operated by flying partner Stobart Air.

Seats are available for booking on www.aerlingus.com.

Al Titterington, Managing Director at Cornwall Airport Newquay, said: ‘The Irish market is a key target for growth and our partnership with Aer Lingus Regional continues to flourish with the addition of Cork this summer. Cork is an exciting development in our route network offering 2-way access between Cornwall and southern Ireland and will boost both regions’ tourism industries which is great news, especially for the UK’s #1 tourism destination.’

Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, added: ‘Today’s news is great for anyone from the South of Ireland planning their summer getaway. Cornwall is a stunning part of the UK, renowned for its surf and scenery with an abundance of things to see and do. The county is home to some unique attractions such as the Eden Project, as well as some delicious traditional British cuisine, making it ideal for families, surfers, sailors and walkers alike, who are seeking a destination closer to home.

‘Furthermore, when you consider that the UK is Ireland’s largest market for inbound tourism, the new route enables more opportunity to showcase Ireland’s Ancient East and Wild Atlantic Way’.

Martin Saxton, Chief Commercial Officer at Stobart Air, commented, ‘The addition of Cork reflects the ongoing success of our route network and our services from Cornwall. We’re keen to provide value, choice and key connections for our customers and are confident this route will be a very popular destination for summer 2017.’

Aer Lingus Regional currently flies up to 640 flights per week across its 26 routes throughout the UK, Ireland and France. Stobart Air is the franchise flying partner to Aer Lingus and Flybe, operating its services from London’s Southend Airport to some European destinations.

 

Aer Lingus offers Bristol passengers fast track to Washington via Dublin

Aer Lingus Regional has announced plans allowing its Bristol-based passengers to fast track their journey to the United States through Dublin.

As part of the new transatlantic strategy, starting May 1, 2015 passengers flying out of Bristol Airport will be able to travel by Aer Lingus to Washington-Dulles Airport via the Dublin Airport transatlantic hub.

With the new pre-clearance at Dublin Airport, operated by US Customs and Border staff, Bristol passengers travelling to North America via Aer Lingus Regional can save up to two hours at security checks as they will be treated similarly to domestic passengers. Aer Lingus Regional is operated by Stobart Air.

Simon Fagan, Chief Commercial Officer at Stobart Air, said: ‘We are very pleased to continue facilitating our Bristol-based customers with alternative routes to the United States. This service is designed to save passengers from Bristol time on their transatlantic travel. Now local business and leisure passengers can travel to the American capital of Washington with greater speed and ease.’

Shaun Browne, Aviation Director at Bristol Airport, said: ‘We are delighted with this announcement. Washington is mentioned time and time again by passengers as a required destination to be added to the Bristol Airport route network. This is great news, particularly for defence-related industries in the region and the benefits of US pre-clearance via the Dublin transatlantic hub, saving passengers time on arrival in America.’

Across Europe, Ireland is the only country to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to destinations in the United States. The Dublin-Washington route will operate four times weekly. Passengers will be able to fly in the airline’s newly launched Business Class, featuring reclining sleeper seats.

Effective from summer 2015, Aer Lingus will also operate daily flights from Dublin to San Francisco and four weekly flights from Dublin to Orlando, offering increased flexibility for passengers travelling from Bristol.

 

Aer Lingus Regional launches new route to Newcastle Airport

Aer Lingus Regional has launched a new route to Newcastle Airport and is looking to fly up to 65,000 passengers in the first year.

The route, operated by Aer Arann, will operate two daily return flights to Newcastle from Dublin Airport beginning October 24. Aer Lingus Regional has scheduled 26 flights between Dublin and Newcastle per week at prime times, offering a convenient day return for travellers.

The addition of the Newcastle route is part of the ‘new beginning’ strategy, which was announced by Aer Arann to return the company to profitability in 2014. The measures also included the launch of two other new routes to Manchester and Birmingham.

‘We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest route to Newcastle,’ said Aer Arann’s chief commercial officer, Simon Fagan, adding: ‘This new route connects Aer Lingus Regional passengers with one of the UK’s most vibrant cities and means that the airline is now serving nine major UK cities from Ireland. This new route will add up to 65,000 passengers to our network next year.

‘The Newcastle-Dublin route will facilitate connections to Aer Lingus mainline services to the US for passengers in the North East of England. Aer Lingus Regional aims to connect 3,500 passengers through Dublin in the first 12 months,’ Fagan said, adding: ‘Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our customers with easy, convenient and great value in regional connections. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route to Newcastle.’

Chris Sanders, aviation development director at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘We’re delighted that Aer Lingus Regional will be operating new services to Dublin this year. This announcement increases the schedule choice for passengers flying from Newcastle on this important route.’

He added: ‘It presents a wide range of connection facilities for travellers which I’m sure will be welcomed by North East holidaymakers and business travellers alike.’

Aer Arann operates 550 flights per week across 25 routes in Ireland, the UK and France. Aer Lingus Regional, which registered a 32 percent rise in passenger numbers in the past 12 months, is looking to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years.

Aer Lingus to launch services to San Francisco, Toronto

Irish carrier, Aer Lingus, is planning to launch services to San Francisco and Toronto from April 2014.

The airlines will deploy an Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft on its Dublin to San Francisco route, which will operate five times per week. The Dublin to Toronto route, which will be serviced by a Boeing B757, will fly daily during the summer season and four times weekly during the winter.

Aer Lingus is also planning to increase the frequency of its services from Shannon to New York and Boston, bringing the airline’s long-haul schedule to ten daily transatlantic services.

‘Our transatlantic capacity will increase by 24 percent in 2014, following on from the 13 percent additional capacity in our 2013 transatlantic schedule,’ said CEO, Christoph Mueller, adding, ‘Our operation of the San Francisco route will strengthen Ireland’s ties with Silicon Valley and encourage Ireland’s development as a technology hub for Europe. Toronto is home to a large Irish community and we look forward to welcoming them on board. We are confident that the increased number of flights from Shannon to New York and Boston will bring additional tourists to the Western region. The increased frequency opens up additional connectivity to almost 40 cities in North America with our airline partners.’

To serve the new routes, Aer Lingus will wet lease three B757 aircraft from ASL Aviation Group. The aircraft will be configured with an economy and business class cabin. Business travellers will ‘continue to enjoy the same great level of service – with gourmet meals, sleeper seats and an extensive in-flight entertainment selection,’ Aer Lingus said.

 

Competition watchdog questions Ryanair’s Aer Lingus stake

Ryanair, an Ireland-based no-frills air carrier, has had its 29.8 percent stake in fellow Irish air carrier, Aer Lingus, brought into question by the UK’s Competition Commission.

In its preliminary findings, the Commission said that Ryanir’s interest in Aer Lingus had the potential to reduce competition on routes between the UK and Ireland by influencing the commercial policy and strategy of its main rival on the routes, an accusation that, if upheld, could result in Ryanair being forced to sell its stake.

In response, Ryanair said that the Commission’s findings were unfounded and that it would appeal against the decision. Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive described the preliminary ruling as ‘bizarre and manifestly wrong.’

In a statement by Simon Polito, the Commission’s deputy chairman, he also eluded to concerns over the influence that Ryanair could potentially wield over the direction and operation of its rival. He said, ‘Our provisional view is that Ryanair’s shareholding is likely to weaken its main competitor on routes between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Whilst not giving it control over the day-to-day running of its rival, Ryanair’s minority shareholding can influence the major strategic decisions that could be crucial to Aer Lingus’s future as a competitive airline on these and other routes.

‘We were particularly concerned about Ryanair’s influence over Aer Lingus’s ability to be acquired by, merge with, or acquire another airline. We thought it likely that such a combination would be necessary to increase Aer Lingus’s scale and achieve synergies to allow it to remain competitive in future.

‘We recognise that there has been competition between Aer Lingus and Ryanair since 2006. However, without Ryanair’s minority shareholding, competition might have been more intense and may be restricted in the future.

‘Passengers on routes between Great Britain and Ireland will benefit from Aer Lingus continuing to compete vigorously with Ryanair and so Aer Lingus needs to be free to take any actions that will strengthen its position in the future.’

The Commission is now canvassing opinion on how much of its share in Aer Lingus Ryanair should sell and what the terms of such a sale should be, prior to the confirmation of its findings, which are due to be published on July 11.

In a statement on behalf of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary said, ‘While Ryanair is one of the UK’s largest airlines, Aer Lingus has a tiny presence in the UK, serving just six routes to the Republic of Ireland, a traffic base that has declined over the past 3 years and now accounts for less than 1 percent of all UK air traffic. This case, involving two Irish airlines where one accounts for less than 1 percent of the UK’s total air traffic, is yet another enormous waste of UK taxpayer resources on a case which has little if any impact on UK consumers.’

Ryanair has made three attempts to purchase Aer Lingus, the last of which was turned down by the European Commission in February this year.

 

European Commission refuses Ryanair’s Aer Lingus takeover again

Ryanair, an Ireland-based no-frills airline, has had its latest attempt to buy out Ireland-based carrier Aer Lingus refused by the European Commission (EC).

The EC has again blocked the deal, ruling that Ryanair’s proposed solutions to previous objections raised by the Commission are, ‘inadequate.’ Ryanair’s response to the decision has been swift and scathing, describing it as, ‘a political decision to pander to the vested interests of the Irish government.’

The comment refers to the fact that the government in the Irish Republic owns a 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus, and does not want the budget carrier to take control of the company.

The ruling means that Ryanair’s third attempt in six years to complete a EUR694 million deal for Aer Lingus has again been thwarted, with the EC still concerned over possible monopolies that the combined entity would wield. This was despite Ryanair proposing to pay budget carrier, Flybe, to operate 43 of the routes currently flown by Aer Lingus, and to provide slots at Heathrow to British Airways owner, IAG, as part of which, BA would operate three routes between the UK and the Irish Republic for three years. However, the EC ruled that neither the involvement of Flybe or British Airways in a new allocation of routes would stop Ryanair from gaining a monopoly or dominant position on 46 routes where it currently had competition from Aer Lingus.

The EC said, ‘The remedies proposed fell short of addressing the competition concerns,’ adding, ‘Customers’ options would have been substantially reduced . . . Higher prices would have been the likely outcome.’

Ryanair said that the refusal of its ‘historic and unprecedented’ concessions package was ‘manifestly unjust.’

 

Irish government unwilling to back Ryanair’s Aer Lingus bid

The government of Ireland has expressed its unwillingness to support a bid by Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, to acquire its rival Irish airline, Aer Lingus.

Ryanair, which owns a 29.8 percent stake in Aer Lingus, has previously offered EUR694 million for the remaining Aer Lingus stock. The Aer Lingus’ board subsequently rejected this on the basis of it being an insufficient offer. The airline is now willing to offer around 40 routes from major airports in Ireland to other airlines in return for the acquisition, as part of a comprehensive remedies package. The European Commission will take the final decision.

The Irish government, which owns a 25 percent stake in Aer Lingus, has announced its decision to oppose the takeover bid by Ryanair.

A statement by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Ireland, said, ‘Earlier today, the Cabinet considered the sale of the State’s 25 percent shareholding in Aer Lingus.

The Government remains committed to the sale of the stake in Aer Lingus at the right time under the right conditions.

However, the Government is not prepared to support any offer that would significantly undermine connectivity or competitiveness for Ireland.

Based on what is now in the public domain, the Ryanair remedies package does not satisfy our concerns about connectivity, competitiveness or employment for Ireland.

Obviously, the European Commission will make its own decision in its own time, but we do not see any benefit to Ireland in what has been reported.’

Earlier Ryanair said, in its own statement, ‘This comprehensive remedies package includes a number of new airline bases in Dublin, new entrant competitors on over 40 routes to/from Dublin, Cork and Shannon, as well as specific competition solutions that guarantee increased price competition on routes to and from Ireland.

Ryanair expects that the commission will shortly market test this transformational remedies package, and remains confident that its offer for Aer Lingus will receive competition clearance following any fair assessment by the commission.’