More than 10,000 people are expected to fly from Dublin Airport to the United States this week as a year and a half of travel restrictions come to an end.
The end of the ban on international visitors has kicked off a surge in people booking trips to the US.
Mary McKenna, managing director of Tour America, said there has been “huge interest”, with hundreds booking package deals for Christmas, Easter and next summer. “2019 was our best year ever and we have had no income since then.
"We are busier now than we were in 2019, so it certainly is looking very positive for 2022,” Ms McKenna told the Irish Independent.
“There has been a massive surge and it is fantastic to see. The only thing is, airfares are going way up. There is a big demand there so we would advise people to book early.”
All Aer Lingus flights to John F Kennedy airport in New York for November 8 were sold out last week. Four flights to San Francisco on November 9 were also sold out, while one-way economy tickets for the remaining flights were coming in at a cost of between €990 and €1,000.
A spokesperson for Dublin Airport said double the number of people will be flying to the US today.
“We’re anticipating that 1,600 passengers will depart Dublin Airport directly for the US, compared with the approximately 850 people that departed on November 1.”
Overall, more than 10,000 people are expected to fly to the US this week from Dublin – an increase of 4,000 from the previous week.
When asked if they are anticipating any delays in the airport, DAA said: “We advise passengers to arrive at the airport three hours in advance of their scheduled flight departure, and they should aim to clear US Preclearance at least two hours in advance of their flight.”
Anyone travelling to America will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Proof of vaccination status will be needed prior to boarding, with limited exceptions.
All FDA-approved vaccines listed by the World Health Organisation for emergency use will be accepted.
While AstraZeneca hasn’t been approved for use in America, passengers who have received both jabs will be allowed entry.
All travellers must also provide a negative Covid test within three days prior to travel to the US.
Children under 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement but are required to take a pre-departure test.