Wednesday 17 October 2018

Time Flies: Aer Lingus celebrates 60 years of transatlantic travel with €100 off US flights

April 28, 1958: Diamond Anniversary

Aer Lingus cabin crew Muriel Cooke and Mae Mc Greevy with former air hostess Lily O'Connell (79) from Leopardstown who worked on Aer Lingus early flights crossing the Atlantic some 60 years ago. Picture: Jason Clarke.
Aer Lingus cabin crew Muriel Cooke and Mae Mc Greevy with former air hostess Lily O'Connell (79) from Leopardstown who worked on Aer Lingus early flights crossing the Atlantic some 60 years ago. Picture: Jason Clarke.
Aer Lingus cabin crew Muriel Cooke and Mae Mc Greevy with former air hostess Lily O'Connell (79) from Leopardstown who worked on Aer Lingus early flights crossing the Atlantic some 60 years ago. Picture: Jason Clarke.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Aer Lingus celebrates a diamond anniversary this weekend - 60 years of transatlantic flights to and from Ireland.

Saturday, April 28th marks 60 years to the day since the former national carrier dispatched its inaugural flight across the Atlantic.

The Aerlínte Éireann Lockheed L1049 Super Constellation flew from Dublin and Shannon to New York with just 99 guests in economy class.

Before departing Irish shores, the airline held a celebratory banquet attended by then Taoiseach Éamon de Valera - after a 14-hour journey, the flight was greeted by a salute from the 165th Infantry of the New York National Guard.

Lily O'Connell when she worked on the early Aer Lingus transatlantic flights. Photo: Aer Lingus Archive
Lily O'Connell when she worked on the early Aer Lingus transatlantic flights. Photo: Aer Lingus Archive

“There was great excitement in the air,” recalled Lily O’Connell, 79 (pictured), from Leopardstown, who worked on the early flights.

“I remember the Americans on board coming to ‘I-R-Land’, as they called it. They were so excited to be meeting their Irish family connections for the first time."

"For Irish people flying home – they had saved for months for the airfare as they were so expensive back then," she said.

"It was just lovely on board, everyone was in great spirits.”

Aer Lingus cabin crew on the Dublin Airport tarmac. Photo: Dublin Airport/Pinterest
Aer Lingus cabin crew on the Dublin Airport tarmac. Photo: Dublin Airport/Pinterest
Pictured with the Iolar at Bristol airport are Aer Lingus cabin crew Laura Mc Cabe and Catherine McDonnell, both wearing the very first Aer Lingus uniform worn by cabin crew in 1945. Photo: Dan Regan
Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer at Dublin Airport. Photo: 13/08/1964. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection
Iolar ('eagle'), the first Aer Lingus aircraft, a DH84 Dragon EI-ABI that flew from Baldonnel to Bristol on May 27, 1936.
An undated photo of a flight attendant with Aer Lingus. Photo by David Reed/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
An old postcard of Dublin Airport. Source: Dublin Airport/Pinterest
The first Aer Lingus Boeing 747 jumbo jet on arrival at Dublin Airport, circa March 1971. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
An Aer Lingus cabin crewmember on board the Super Constellation aircraft that flew transatlantic routes.
Aer Lingus pilot Davina Pratt poses with the Ryder Cup after arriving at Dublin Airport on September 18, 2006. Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
A passenger at Knock Airport for the first commercial Aer Lingus flights which took off on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1985. Photo: Independent News And Media/Getty Images
Monsignor James Horan and Crew at Knock Airport, in the 1980s. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection
Aer Lingus cabin crewmembers Deborah McGuirk and Shannen McDonnell pictured on Sandymount Strand. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Liz Jackson and Russell Gleeson presenting flowers to Pope John Paul II at Dublin Airport upon his arrival in Ireland in 1979.
An Aer Lingus poster from the 1950s courtesy of Tony Murray, taken from Doesn't Time Fly? Aer Lingus - Its History by Mike Cronin
An Aer Lingus jet prepares to land at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, in 2010. Photo: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rev. Fr.Peyton, the rosary priest, waves goodbye at Dublin Airport for Lourdes. 06 October 1954. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection.
Planey McPlaneface: Aer Lingus's hat-tip to the celebrated Internet boat.
The Most Rev. Dr.Dermot Ryan greets his brother Andrew and his sister Sr.Madeline at Rome Airport. He arrived for his installation as Archbishop of Dublin in a cermony conducted by the Pope. Pic Matt Walsh 10/2/73 - indo pic Scanned from the NPA archives.
A vintage poster sees Aer Lingus advertise New York
An original ticket for Aer Lingus's (then Aer Línte) early transatlantic flights. Flights departed Dublin and flew via Newfoundland to JFK Airport in New York. They first departed in 1958.
Aer Lingus
A vintage poster from Aer Lingus's glory days
An Aer Lingus Super Constellation, known as the Super Connie. The propeller-driven were built by Lockheed Corporation between 1943 and 1958 at Burbank, California.
In 1967 Aer Lingus flew fresh shamrock to Manchester to present to George Best
The Golden Shamrock class, as regularly advertised in holiday magazines throughout the 1960s
John Hinde postcard of the Old Terminal and Pier A at Dublin Airport. Source: Dublin Airport/Pinterest
Snow at Dublin Airport in 2010. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Christoph Mueller Aer Lingus CEO (centre) with Aer Lingus cabin crew Lesley Murphy and Grainne Frawley launching flights from Shannon to Boston Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus ad, featuring the Vickers Viscount planes
Johnny Sexton was In Dublin Airport. where he was unveiled as an Aer Lingus ambassador. Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland 2015
Members of 'Ireland on Parade', pictured at Dublin Airport before their departure to USA 11 September 1964. Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection
Composite image: An Aer Lingus aircraft takes off from London Heathrow in 2015 (Photo: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images) with vintage poster of 1950s cabin crewmember (inset).

Flying at a cruising altitude of 16,000 to 18,000 feet, they would need to have been - early journeys were far more susceptible to turbulence.

35 million transatlantic customers later, Aer Lingus is owned by IAG and heading into its busiest summer ever for North American services.

The airline will offer 2.75 million seats to 13 transatlantic destinations this year, with its newest route - Seattle - set for take-off in May.

To celebrate, Aer Lingus is offering €100 off return flights to all direct North American destinations, valid for travel from June 16 to October 31.

The sale is now online, at aerlingus.com.

Read more:

This aircraft will change the way you think about transatlantic travel

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