Aer Lingus adds new US routes.
Midlanders planning to head Stateside next year will have a wider range of options after the announcement by Aer Lingus that it is to add three new transatlantic routes to its network.
The Irish flag-carrier, which was bought by International Airlines Group in August, will introduce flights to Los Angeles, Newark and Hartford, Connecticut from Birmingham during its summer 2016 schedule.
All the services involve easy transfers in Dublin where passengers can take advantage of US customs and immigration preclearance, enabling them to save time by skipping the queues upon arrival in the States.
Aer Lingus’s daily flight to Newark Liberty Airport from early September will add to the airline’s existing twice-daily service to John F Kennedy Airport in the New York area.
The daily service to Hartford Bradley International Airport, starting in late September, will be the only direct flight from outside North America to what the airline bills as “The Gateway to New England”.
The five-times-weekly service to Los Angeles, commencing in May, completes the single largest expansion of Aer Lingus’s transatlantic network since it commenced flying to the US in 1958.
Aer Lingus, which operates up to six flights a day from Birmingham Airport to Dublin and six flights a week from Birmingham to both Cork and Shannon, was taken over by IAG for €1.3 billion in August. Willie Walsh, the group’s chief executive, said at the announcement that Ireland’s location and US immigration pre-clearance status provided IAG with a “natural gateway” to build its business between Europe and North America through Aer Lingus.
“This is the first step in our plans to add North American destinations, bring new aircraft into the fleet, increase passenger numbers and create new jobs. This shows also our keenness to develop Dublin as another key hub within the group,” he added.
Flights from Birmingham to both Newark and Hartford are from £225 each way in economy class and £829 in business class, and to Los Angeles from £269 each way in economy (£1,299 in business). Fares include taxes and charges and tickets can be bought through the airline’s new website at www.aerlingus.com.