Aer Lingus announces two new transatlantic flights from Dublin
The airline's transatlantic expansion will go up another gear in summer 2019, our Travel Editor reports
Aer Lingus will fly direct from Dublin to Montreal and Minneapolis–Saint Paul from summer 2019, it has announced.
The Montreal route will operate daily on a new Airbus A321 neo long-range aircraft from August 8 of next year, with fares from €239 each way.
It will compete with existing seasonal services by Air Canada and Air Transat.
Fares on the new daily route to Minneapolis–Saint Paul start from €249. It takes off on July 8, 2019, operated on a Boeing 757 aircraft.
Together, the two routes will add 250,000 seats to the airline's transatlantic network (currently, Aer Lingus offers around 2.8 million annual seats to North America).
'Largest-ever transatlantic expansion'
Aer Lingus is in the midst of what it terms "the largest-ever transatlantic expansion in the airline's history", with CEO Stephen Kavanagh today describing its mission "to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic".
Since its acquisition by IAG in 2015, it has taken delivery of several new long-haul aircraft and launched eight new transatlantic services - including Seattle, Philadelphia and Miami in the past year alone.
Together with other recent additions like LA, Newark and Hartford, Connecticut, today's announcement brings its total number of North American services to 15.
IAG plans to further boost the airline's fleet in the coming years, with 12 new Airbus A321 Neo long-range (LR) aircraft due to arrive from 2019 to 2022.
A 'game-changer' aircraft
Montreal is the first route to be announced with the new aircraft (above), which uses 20pc less fuel and can fly over 900km further than comparable predecessors.
Aer Lingus will have 168 economy and 16 business class seats on the A321LRs, using the same seat products as its current long-haul fleet.
Speculation had been rife about the latest routes, with Pittsburgh, Dallas Fort Worth and a seasonal service to Las Vegas among those mentioned before today's announcement.
The Montreal and Minneapolis-St Paul routes will further drive the growth of Dublin and Aer Lingus as 'gateway' airport and airline for connecting passengers.
Dublin Airport recently opened a €16 million transfer hub, and an EY Advisory report released today concludes that further investment in hub infrastructure could add €18.6bn and 33,950 jobs to the Irish economy over the next 15 years.
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