As we reported on Tuesday, United Continental Holdings has announced that United Airlines will launch a daily non-stop service from Dublin to its Washington DC hub, Dulles International Airport, on 8th June 2012 (see www.ittn.ie/news-features/united-to-launch-dublin-–-washington-dc-service/).
United will fly from Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport to Washington/Dulles and to more than 80 onward connecting destinations. The new service to Washington will be Dublin Airport’s tenth North American destination and the third new long-haul service to operate from T2 since the new terminal was officially opened last November (the others being US Airways to Charlotte and Emirates’ forthcoming service to Dubai).
Transatlantic passenger numbers at Dublin Airport were up by more than 6% to just under 1.4 million for the 10 months to the end of October.
Yvonne Muldoon, United’s Sales Manager Ireland and Northern Ireland, told Irish Travel eNews: “This is good news for Irish travellers and underpins the importance of Ireland to United. Serving two of our hubs from Ireland opens up new travel and business opportunities. I know customers will benefit from our Washington/Dulles hub with connections to destinations across the USA.
“The announcement of the new Dublin-Washington/Dulles service is also great news for our Irish travel trade partners. At United, we strongly value our ongoing relationship with the Irish travel community and, together, we will work to offer customers new travel opportunities via our Washington/Dulles hub.”
Dublin Airport Authority
Vincent Harrison, Director of Strategy at Dublin Airport Authority, said: “We are delighted that United is adding a Dublin-Washington service to its schedule and look forward to working with the airline to help promote this excellent new service on both sides of the Atlantic.
“This new year-round daily service will make Ireland an even more accessible destination for business and leisure travellers from the east coast of the United States and also adds a new direct US destination from Dublin. Direct air access stimulates business between cities and economies and we are confident that this new route will bring significant benefits.”
Minister for Transport
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has also welcomed the decision. “This is great news for Irish tourism as well as for Irish passengers, for Dublin Airport and for the wider economy. It will also have clear benefits for business and political links with the USA, and is a very welcome development in terms of improving Ireland’s connectivity with the United States.
“The new route will provide a new stimulus for tourism from the USA, which remains one of our key markets for inward tourism. It will help us to build on the strong performance in visit numbers from North America, which are up over 12% so far in 2011.
“The new route will also be included in the Government’s €9 million winter marketing programme that is currently underway, overseen by Tourism Ireland.
“The route will provide greater ease of access to Ireland for business and leisure travellers from the Washington metropolitan area, an important target market for Irish tourism, as well as providing a hub for travellers from the east coast of the United States and beyond.
“I am especially pleased to see such a significant service operating out of Terminal 2. I hope it will prove an incentive for other airlines, operating from other destinations, to open up new services to Dublin.”
Dublin Chamber of Commerce
The new direct flight from Dublin to Washington is “another dot joined in Ireland’s global connectivity,” according to Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and that “the opening of this route will help open up new opportunities for business between the two capital cities”.
“This is yet another positive sign of the recovery in international air passenger traffic and shows how Dublin Airport is developing as a European hub with global access,” said Aebhric Mc Gibney, Dublin Chamber’s Director of Policy. “Dublin Airport is not only fundamental to the Irish tourism sector, but as an open economy with substantial inward FDI, it is also the means by which business travellers can access their international headquarters and customers/suppliers with relative ease.
“With the construction of Terminal 2, Dublin Airport has the capacity to take on a significant number of new routes. Building our network means that routes to-and-from Ireland can be supported by through-passenger traffic numbers, using Dublin as a stop along the way. This will have significant economic benefits for Dublin and Ireland. We hope the trend of new routes opening up from Dublin Airport in the past year, which included routes to North Carolina and Dubai, continues as it is good for business, investment and tourism.”