As first revealed by Irish Travel Trade News on 7th March, Aer Lingus yesterday announced significant expansion to its transatlantic route offering for 2014, including ex-Dublin services to Toronto and San Francisco. Flights have gone on sale with each way fares, including taxes and charges, from: Dublin to San Francisco: €439; Dublin to Toronto: €329; Shannon to Boston: €239; Shannon to New York: €239.
In addition to its existing services to Boston, Chicago, New York and Orlando, the airline will commence year-round direct service between Dublin and San Francisco from April 2014 with five services per week being operated by A330 wide-body aircraft.
Aer Lingus will also commence direct year-round service to Canada from April 2014. A daily direct B757 service between Dublin and Toronto will operate during the summer season, with up to four weekly services operating during the winter. Two B757 aircraft will be based in Shannon and will be used to deliver increased frequency on existing services to Boston and New York. Year-round connections from Shannon to the east coast will be introduced.
In addition to direct access to San Francisco, Aer Lingus customers travelling from a number of UK and Mainland European cities via Dublin will benefit from a wide choice of onward connections to 16 cities on the West Coast and beyond, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Diego.
Aer Lingus customers travelling from over 20 UK and Mainland European cities via Dublin to Toronto will also have the option to connect to eight key cities within Canada, including Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.
These new routes will bring the Aer Lingus long-haul schedule to 10 daily transatlantic services, connecting Ireland and Europe with cities throughout North America.
Christoph Mueller, Chief Executive, Aer Lingus, said: “Our transatlantic business goes from strength to strength. This expansion is extremely positive news for Aer Lingus and for the broader economy in terms of business, tourism and employment. Our transatlantic capacity will increase by 24% in 2014, following on from the 13% additional capacity in our 2013 transatlantic schedule.
“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. San Francisco’s Silicon Valley is home to many of the world’s largest technology companies and several of these companies have European headquarters in Dublin.
“Toronto is the sixth biggest North American market out of Ireland. In addition to being a great tourist destination, the city 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. Very importantly, this expansion will directly support more than 200 jobs within Aer Lingus and our partner airline, ASL Aviation Group.”
Aer Lingus will wet lease three B757 aircraft from ASL Aviation Group. The aircraft will be configured with Economy and Business Class cabins. Business travellers will continue to enjoy gourmet meals, sleeper seats and an extensive inflight entertainment selection.
Hugh Flynn, Chief Executive, ASL Aviation Group said: “We are delighted to partner with Aer Lingus in bringing renowned excellent service to increasing numbers of business and leisure passengers on new and existing routes. ASL Aviation Group enjoys a world-class excellent reputation for safety, reliability and quality. We are a global company, with almost 90 aircraft operating all over the world under our own brand and for leading airlines, and we are proud to work with Ireland’s national airline. We believe the combination of two prominent Irish aviation companies brings a competitive dimension to the market and significantly increases economic opportunity for Ireland.”
The Aer Lingus announcement included: “For the continued growth of Dublin as a connecting hub and the success of our increased services from Shannon, the expansion of the US Customs and Border Protection service is an absolute necessity.”