Saturday 24 March 2018

Ryanair and Aer Lingus join in bid to boost Dublin

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Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Dublin Airport is set for a passenger boost after Aer Lingus and Ryanair signed a co-operation agreement, which will help build the capital as a transatlantic flight hub.

The airlines signed an accord, which will enable passengers to get connecting flights through their respective services.

Declan Kearney, director of communications for Aer Lingus, told the Irish Independent the idea was to attract passengers to Dublin to fly across the Atlantic.

"It has the possibility to be a win-win," he said.

"Due to the positioning of Ireland, connecting short-haul to short-haul wouldn't make much sense.

"The idea is to connect short-haul to long-haul. Ryanair fly to places in Eastern Europe where we don't fly."

For example, passengers will be able to fly from Eastern Europe to New York through Dublin Airport, checking their bags all the way through to their final destination.

Similarly, they will be able to fly from New York to Dublin with Aer Lingus and then connect to Eastern Europe with Ryanair.

As part of the agreement, customers will be able to book connecting Ryanair flights through the Aer Lingus website and vice versa.

"We are capitalising on and leveraging the fact that Dublin is a very good location for transatlantic travel," Mr Kearney said.

"This is one of many, many partnerships we have."

He added that Aer Lingus was happy to make the deal.

At present, the companies are working on 'marrying' their technology in order to allow the system to work.

While no specific date has yet been set, the service will be available to customers later this year.

It will be the first agreement of its kind for Ryanair.

The airline's CEO, Michael O'Leary, had long been opposed to selling journeys involving connecting flights, but the company started trials on Ryanair-only connections last year.

Last year, it ended talks with Norwegian Air Shuttle on a similar arrangement.


However, Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said last week that the company hoped it would be able to start operating connecting flights with Aer Lingus this year.

It is expected that the service will be packaged by a third-party intermediary, which will also offer passengers connection insurance to cover missed onward flights.

In the past, concern about having to compensate passengers for missed connections was one of Ryanair's main reasons for shunning the idea of offering feeder flights for long-haul routes.

Irish Independent

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