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Aer Lingus has Caribbean dream, says Antigua minister


Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus

Eagle-eyed plane-spotters will have noticed the odd private jet flying out of Dublin and heading in the direction of the Caribbean in recent times.

The rest of us can only dream but it seems as if former national carrier Aer Lingus may also be mulling the potential for more general passenger traffic to the Caribbean once we are freed from the travel lockdown.

According to a report on industry website Travel Trade Gazette, Aer Lingus is in discussions to launch services from Manchester and Dublin to Antigua. It quoted from Antigua’s Daily Observer in which the island’s tourism minister Charles Fernandez said that the airline had approached him in February.

“Aer Lingus contacted us and they want to fly to the Caribbean, so they will be offering a flight — Dublin, Manchester, Antigua. Of course, this is important for us because it will open up the northern part of England,” the minister is reported to have said.

Aer Lingus is looking to hire at least 120 staff for the new Manchester base. Staff in Dublin have had little to be cheerful about in recent times, not least because of the swingeing pay cuts they have endured.

They have heard precious little of comfort from Irish ministers but the words of Fernandez will be some tiny comfort.

With tumbleweed a more likely sight than commercial jets at Dublin, many Aer Lingus staff will no doubt have at least contemplated a move to Manchester.

But the Antiguan minister’s mention of Dublin in dispatches suggests that there may be life in the old DUB yet.

Pernod Ricard hints at Jameson cocktail plan

Ann Mukherjee, the North America boss of Irish Distillers owner Pernod Ricard, clearly has a taste for innovation.

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During a recent conference call for Pernod Ricard, Mukherjee said the company was beginning to think of its “flavour strategy” for Jameson whiskey. She hinted at cocktail-inspired variations of Jameson, sharing its Cold Brew variation as an example.

“And I think that’s the way we’re approaching our flavour strategy, which is to say, start with the brand, start with the type of spirit it is and what makes sense for a long-term flavour strategy, and that’s what you’re going to see from Jameson moving forward,” she said.

In response to Ergo, Irish Distillers said it is “confident of the future growth potential for our brands and will continue to deliver quality, innovation-led products”.

Fintech Wise hires former Tralinline CEO, Gilmartin

London-based digital payments fintech Wise, formerly known as Transferwise, has appointed two new director designates to its board to help with the firm’s next stage of growth.

One of them is former Trainline CEO, Dublin-born Clare Gilmartin, who moved to an advisory role with the travel tech firm in October. Wise co-founder and CEO Kristo Kaarmanna said in a blog that Gilmartin’s experience would help as Wise scales its operations.

He added the hirings would help “create a more inclusive work environment and more diverse and inclusive products”.

This article was amended on March 22, 2021.

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