Aer Lingus delays launch of Manchester-US flights

Irish airline blames ongoing US restrictions for second rescheduling

Ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions have forced Aer Lingus to delay the launch of flights from Manchester, in England, to the United States until December.

The Irish airline planned to begin flights to New York JFK, Orlando in Florida, and Barbados from the British airport this autumn after regulators granted its UK subsidiary a licence.

However, Aer Lingus said on Wednesday that it would delay the introduction of the two US services to December from their scheduled start of September 30th.

The carrier will begin New York flights on December 1st and Orlando on December 11th. The Barbados service will begin as planned on October 20th.


Aer Lingus blamed the delay on restrictions on travel into the US, which continues to bar travellers on nonessential journeys from Europe.

The airline said it was “sorry for any inconvenience caused”. The company added that it was contacting customers to offer a full refund, re-accommodation on an alternative service or a voucher with an extra 10 per cent, for use across the Aer Lingus network over the next five years.

Second delay

This is the second time that travel curbs have forced the Irish carrier to reschedule the launch of the US services since it confirmed the plans earlier this year.

It originally hoped to begin flying to the US destinations from the end of July, but announced in June that it would postpone this to September.

“Aer Lingus [UK] Ltd remains fully committed to its services from Manchester Airport,” the airline said a statement on Tuesday, adding that Barbados would proceed as scheduled.

Earlier this month the UK Civil Aviation Authority granted Aer Lingus (UK) Ltd an operating licence allowing it to fly scheduled services to the US, Barbados and other destinations.

The airline intends to exploit opportunities left by rival Thomas Cook’s failure in 2019.


News that it would use aircraft first destined for the Republic sparked fears that its parent, IAG’s commitment to the Irish market was waning.

Aer Lingus chief executive Lynne Embleton responded that the planes were "sitting on the ground" as a result of ongoing Irish Government restrictions. The State began easing those restraints in mid-July.

The European air travel industry, including IAG, had hoped that the US would begin lifting its travel bans next month.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas