Aer Lingus is to launch direct service between Dublin and San Francisco from March 2014, with five services per week being operated by Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft. The airline will also commence a direct year-round service to Canada.
A daily direct Boeing 757 service between Dublin and Toronto will operate during the summer season, with up to four weekly services operating during the winter. A further two Boeing 757 aircraft will be based in Shannon and will be used to deliver increased frequency on existing services to Boston and New York.
A Dublin-San Francisco return economy flight in May 2014 costs €910.54.
Christoph Mueller, chief executive, Aer Lingus, said today: “Our transatlantic business goes from strength to strength. This expansion is extremely positive news for Aer Lingus and for the broader economy in terms of business, tourism and employment. Our transatlantic capacity will increase by 2 4 % in 2014, following on from the 1 3 % additional capacity in our 2013 transatlantic schedule . Very importantly, this expansion will directly support more than 200 new jobs within Aer Lingus and our partner airline ASL Aviation Group"
Barry O’Leary, chief executive at IDA
Ireland said: “When companies make decisions to locate
operations in foreign countries, direct air access from their headquarters is a
very important factor.”
Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s announcement is wonderful news for tourism to the island of Ireland. We already work very closely with Aer Lingus and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximise the promotion of these new routes. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with Aer Lingus, Dublin and Shannon Airports and other tourism interests, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for these new services – as we work with other carriers and partners to promote and help maintain vital routes and services to the island.
Gibbons continued: “North America is a tremendously important tourism market; and we believe that we are on course to achieve our best year ever from the United States. In 2013, we hope to welcome over one million American visitors, spending about US$1bn. Already, we have seen a significant increase – almost +27% – in the number of airline seats between the US and Ireland for the peak season (June-August) of this year. Today’s announcement is further good news and augurs well for prospects for tourism from North America to Ireland in 2014 and beyond.”
Separately, Ryanair today released passenger and load factor stats for June 2013, with its monthly traffic increasing by 170,000 (up 2%) to 7.96m passengers over June 2012. Ryanair’s rolling 12-month traffic to June 2013 rose by 4% to a record 79.9m passengers.
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