United Airlines to start year-round Dublin-San Francisco service

United Airlines has announced that it will start operating a new, year-round, daily nonstop service between Dublin Airport and its hub at San Francisco from next summer.

The new daily service will depart Dublin at 11.50 arriving in San Francisco at 14.20. The return flight will depart San Francisco at 15.55 and arrive in Dublin Airport at 9.45 the following day. The airline will operate its new route with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, starting June 6, 2020.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘United is a valued customer serving Dublin Airport for more than two decades and we are particularly delighted to see it adding a fourth destination to its route network next summer.’

‘San Francisco is the global tech centre of the world and many of the companies based there have offices in Ireland. This new route will further grow tourism and trade between Ireland and the US and provide greater choice and flexibility for both business and leisure passengers. We will work closely with United’s management team to ensure this new service is a success in both directions.’

‘Dublin and Silicon Valley are two regions synonymous with big tech,’ said United’s Vice President of International Network Patrick Quayle. ‘Many global tech companies have a major footprint in both regions, and they need a carrier with an extensive worldwide network to help conveniently connect their business. As the only US airline to serve Ireland from the West Coast, United is uniquely suited to provide the connectivity these companies and economies need to continue thriving.’

From Dublin, United Airlines also operates services to Chicago, Newark, and Washington D.C. Currently, Dublin Airport has flights to 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by 50 airlines.

Thomas Cook Airlines commences direct service from Manchester to San Francisco

Thomas Cook Airlines, the airline division of the global travel company, has commenced a new nonstop service between San Francisco and Manchester, on May 14, according to a release by the San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The airline plans to operate flights between San Francisco and Manchester twice each week, on Sundays and Thursdays. The flights will be operated using Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The new service will also allow travellers and tourists to connect with Thomas Cook destinations such as the Balearic and Canary Islands, Cyprus, and various destinations in Turkey.

‘I am proud that Thomas Cook Airlines has chosen SFO for its expansion in the United States,’ said San Francisco Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. ‘We both share a passion for creating an unforgettable travel experience, and our customers now have an exciting new way to get to England and beyond. 

‘This is an exciting time for Thomas Cook Group Airlines as we start this amazing new service and grow our U.S. footprint even more,’ said Christoph Debus, Chief Airlines Officer, Thomas Cook Group. ‘We work closely with partner airlines, allowing us to connect to 90 destinations within the USA, as well as to fantastic European cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Milan, allowing us to offer more destinations than ever before.’

Thomas Cook to launch new US route from Manchester

Thomas Cook Airlines, one of the world’s leading leisure travel groups, has announced direct flights from Manchester to San Francisco, as part of expanding its long-haul offering and its US network.

The San Francisco route joins flights to Los Angeles and Boston launched in 2016, and New York and Miami in 2015. In addition to the new route, the airline has increased frequencies to Los Angeles from two to three flights per week, while Boston services has been increased from two to four flights per week. Thomas Cook’s agreements with partner carriers also enable customers to connect to around 90 North American and Caribbean cities.

The new direct flights to San Francisco from Manchester Airport will start on May 14, 2017 with departures from Manchester on Thursdays and Sunday. Economy seats are available from £489.98 return for economy and £689.98 Premium class.

Thomas Cook’s chief airlines officer, Christoph Debus, said: ‘It’s never been so easy for our customers to reach top US destinations. With seven direct US routes from Manchester, five of which we have launched in the last 3 years, we’re making good progress with our strategy to grow our long-haul network.’

‘It’s also great news for the North of England as not only can passengers reach the stunning scenery of Northern California direct, they are also connected with the booming business hub of Silicon Valley.’

Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: ‘We are pleased that Thomas Cook Airlines continues to grow from Manchester Airport and look forward to working closely with them in future as they expand further.

‘The addition of a new San Francisco service and increased frequency on the existing Los Angeles and Boston routes means there will be more than 2.2m seats on sale between Manchester and the States in the coming year.

‘That represents growth of more than 25% over two years, with more seats added at Manchester than at any of the other top 25 airports in Europe, cementing our position as the global gateway for the North.’

The expansion in US services comes as passenger numbers to the US on Thomas Cook’s UK airline have more than trebled in the last two years. Almost one million Thomas Cook customers will have travelled to the US from across Europe during the winter and summer seasons this year – an increase of 40 per cent year-on-year, the airline said.

Thomas Cook Airlines will also launch London Gatwick-Cape Town flights in December 2016, while its sister airline, Condor, has expanded its direct flight to the US from Germany in the last two years to include Austin, Portland, New Orleans and San Diego, it added.

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.

 

Violent Crime Increases Could Hurt Tourist-Friendly San Francisco

One of the United States’ top tourism cities, the last thing San Francisco needed was a crime wave to scare away its legion of international fans. Following a series of stabbings in the city’s traveller-heavy inner districts, authorities are planning to implement measures designed to keep the city safe at night. The measures will help San Francisco’s lucrative tourism sector and boost home values.

It’s certainly an odd situation in a city regarded as one of the country’s most safe and universally tolerant. Crime in San Francisco has typically been significantly lower than in its surrounding city areas, and even lower than that observed in metropolitan areas in Los Angeles and San Diego. The city’s recent crime ‘wave’ is rather unusual, and it’s beginning to gain a place in the city’s psyche.

The ‘crime wave’ – as local media are calling it – stems from a series of stabbings and vicious fights which occurred within the city centre. San Francisco’s large central city is generally safe throughout the night, with few tourists or locals affected and all-round crime figures low. A stabbing near Coit Tower – one of the city’s tourism hot spots – has set things off, with another attack following it.

City government has already taken steps to address the problems, increasing police officer visibility during the night and encouraging tourists to take care when in unfamiliar areas. While the reported crime wave is taking up newspaper space, it’s something that isn’t that unusual. Given the history of unusual murder in San Francisco, the city may in fact be enjoying a period of relative safety.

For tourists, it’s certainly off-putting. San Francisco remains one of the United States’ most dynamic and interesting tourism destinations, and it’s unlikely to disappear from the map due to a short series of crimes. However, it sits at a relatively difficult junction now – with local authorities wondering if its reputation for tolerance and peacefulness may take a public relations hit.