Aer Lingus transatlantic capacity to jump 22pc next year
Aer Lingus will boost its long-haul seat capacity by 22pc to 2.5 million next year as it inaugurates a long anticipated service between Dublin and Miami, and adds other services to the United States for the summer.
Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh also said that he expects Ryanair and Aer Lingus will be sharing revenue on transfer passengers from next year, in a landmark deal that has been well over a year in the making.
Aer Lingus will fly to Miami three times a week from next September, with the flights scheduled to feed into cruise ship departures from the city.
The service will also enable Aer Lingus passengers to connect via American Airlines services to destinations in the Caribbean, Latin and South America.
Mr Kavanagh said that Aer Lingus will also launch services to Porto in Portugal, and Split in Croatia. With the addition on the Miami service, Aer Lingus will operate 13 routes to North America using 15 aircraft. It's using Dublin as a hub to drive traffic to its network from the US, the UK and continental Europe.
Its Dublin to Chicago service will operate twice a day during summer 2017, while the Dublin-Orlando route will operate four times a week.
Dublin-Los Angeles will also go to a daily service for the summer.
Mr Kavanagh said the airline is also increasing its capacity on the Dublin-Heathrow route, having secured extra slots at the airport after Virgin handed back the slots to British Airways. The slots will now be used by Aer Lingus.
The so-called remedy slots had been awarded to Virgin in 2013 when BA bought BMI. Virgin used them on domestic UK services, that were operated on its behalf by Aer Lingus, but Virgin couldn't make the routes pay.
Mr Kavanagh also said that Aer Lingus will soon announce an expansion of its services at Cork, which will also include additional Heathrow services, as well as extra services to continental Europe.
IAG said last month that the return on invested capital at Aer Lingus was 20.6pc over the previous four quarters. That's the strongest in the group.