Aer Lingus boosts flights (and prices) for Six Nations rugby clashes
Extra flights to Scotland, Italy and Wales are being added ahead of the 2019 Championship, our Travel Editor reports
Aer Lingus is stepping up its services for the 2019 Six Nations, with over 15,800 seats available for away games next year.
Ireland head into the 2019 Championship as Grand Slam title-holders, with away games against Scotland (Feb 9), Italy (Feb 24) and Wales (March 16).
To accommodate travelling fans, Aer Lingus is boosting seats to Edinburgh by 30pc, more than doubling capacity to Rome (up by 136pc) and adding a temporary, one-off service from Dublin to Cardiff (March 14-17) ahead of the respective clashes.
Capacity is up on routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon, it says, with over 6,500 seats available from the airports to Edinburgh alone around match weekend.
Despite the extra flights, fans can expect to pay a premium to fly over the busy match weekends. Dublin to Edinburgh flights are currently starting from €206.99 on February 9, for example, as opposed to €29.99 the previous Saturday.
As we publish, return flights from Dublin to Rome cost up to €947.98 travelling out on February 22nd and back on the 25th. The same route costs €240.99 a week previously (departing Dublin on February 15 and return on Monday, February 18).
Ryanair is also likely to add extra flights in the near future.
Aer Lingus is the 'official' airline of the IRFU under a sponsorship agreement extended for three years last April. Advertising campaigns pitch it as an airline flying 'Home Advantage' and passionate support to crunch games played by Ireland.
Irish rugby enters a World Cup Year on a high, having won the 2018 Six Nations, a test series in Australia, beaten the All-Blacks and seen Joe Schmidt and Jonathan Sexton named Coach and Player of the Year respectively.
Read more:Japan Rugby World Cup 2019: Pól Ó Conghaile's ultimate travel guide