Winter and summer schedules are seeing a pick-up in flight options available from Ireland
WE’RE not quite partying like it’s 2019, but air travel is slowly taking off.
Recent announcements have seen Aer Lingus launch its 2022 summer schedule, a stepping-up of transatlantic routes as the US prepares to reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from November 8, and a host of new (or returning) European routes.
Aer Lingus “will incrementally build capacity" over the next several months, it says, depending on consumer demand among other factors.
“Month by month, we can see more and more people taking to the skies again,” said Reid Moody, its Chief Strategy and Planning Officer. “We’re confident that the demand is there for travel next year."
It will have two million transatlantic seats on sale next summer – down on pre-pandemic times, but good news for Shannon in particular, where sorely missed services to JFK and Boston will resume from March.
Ryanair says it has seen “a surge in bookings” for school holidays like Christmas and mid-term, and expects “this peak buoyancy” to continue into Easter and summer 2022.
It has also begun taking delivery of its new Boeing 737-8200 “gamechanger” aircraft, and it expects to have over 65 in the fleet by next summer.
Here are just some of the highlights of the new routes coming up (you can see a select list of flights already operating, or previously announced, here).
Dublin Airport has published the latest edition of its flight schedule, showing winter routes available to passengers through to the end of March.
It now includes 123 destinations – low by comparison with its pre-pandemic network, but growing again nevertheless.
With the return of transatlantic travel from November 8, passengers will be able to fly to the US on a choice of 56 flights each week to six destinations – Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and Washington DC.
Aer Lingus plans to resume its direct service from Dublin to San Francisco from December 12, and United Airlines says it will resume its daily nonstop seasonal services to Washington DC from February 12 and Chicago from March 27.
Other recent route announcements include flights with Loganair to Aberdeen, Ryanair to Sibiu in Romania; Kosice in Slovakia and Agadir in Morocco, as well as a daily Vueling service from Dublin to Paris-Orly.
Aer Lingus will ramp up short-haul capacity between now and summer 2022, it says, flying at least 50 short-haul routes next summer, 41 of them from Dublin.
A new flight to Jersey with Blue Islands is also coming next May.
Cork airport's runway remains closed for works until November 22, but it's gearing up for take-off after that with a huge vote of confidence from Ryanair.
The airline is planning its largest ever winter schedule from Cork, including a new route to Manchester, operating twice daily from December 15.
In total, Ryanair will operate over 60 weekly flights to 13 destinations from Cork this winter, including Alicante, Edinburgh, Gdansk, Lanzarote, London, Malaga and Tenerife.
Vueling will also fly a new route from Cork to Paris, while Ryanair has also announced a new summer ‘22 route connecting Cork to Venice Marco Polo Airport.
After a devastating pandemic, things have started to take a turn for the better at Shannon, which last week welcomed three more Ryanair services to Fuerteventura, Birmingham and Budapest.
It follows the airline’s strong existing schedule of 18 services (a series of new routes has included Gran Canaria, London Luton and Edinburgh) and Aer Lingus’s recent news that it will continue the “vital” London Heathrow service.
Best of all, transatlantic is making a comeback in Co Clare.
United says it will resume its daily nonstop Shannon to New York/Newark service from March 27, and Aer Lingus has announced the return of New York (JFK) and Boston routes for next year from €169 each-way.
That will give Shannon 14 flights a week to the US from the former state carrier alone.
In other news, the airport has begun operating a new, €2.5 million security screening system that it says is halving the time customers spend in the security screening area “by making the removal of laptops and liquids from cabin bags a thing of the past”.
Aer Lingus will resume operations of its London Gatwick service from Knock on December 18, just in time for the busy Christmas period.
In September, the airport announced the launch by Ryanair of two new services to Edinburgh and Manchester. Both are twice weekly on a year-round basis.
Ryanair is also extending its Milan and Malaga flights through winter.
NB: This is a select list. Always check Covid-related restrictions or criteria on reopen.europa.eu and dfa.ie/travel before booking any travel.