Aer Lingus set to resume flights to San Francisco

Assurances on support of revived route received from Google, Apple and Facebook

Flights between Dublin and San Francisco were discontinued in 2009 as Aer Lingus responded to the economic downturn by reducing its fleet. Photograph:  Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

Flights between Dublin and San Francisco were discontinued in 2009 as Aer Lingus responded to the economic downturn by reducing its fleet. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

 


Google, Apple and Facebook have persuaded Aer Lingus to reopen the San Francisco to Dublin route, according to sources in the US.

The technology giants have their European headquarters in Dublin and their American bases in San Francisco.

According to insiders, Aer Lingus will make an announcement soon having received assurances that Silicon Valley companies will take up seats.

Economic downturn
Flights between Dublin and San Francisco were discontinued in 2009 as Aer Lingus responded to the economic downturn by reducing its fleet.

That decision left no direct route between Ireland and Silicon Valley, one of the most important economic centres for investment in Ireland.

According to the IDA, about 40 per cent of Ireland’s total direct foreign investment comes from Silicon alley.

“It is absolutely crucial,” said former Irish diplomat and current Silicon Valley Bank managing director Barry O’Brien.

“The western US is Ireland’s biggest trading market and we have no direct route to it. It’s a lifeline. If you want to trade you have to be able to go where you’re trading. That’s been true going right back to Marco Polo. ”

There has been no official announcement but it is understood that the airline is ironing out details before going public.

It was revealed back in April that Aer Lingus was considering expanding its fleet and that San Francisco was one of the routes being considered.

Interested parties
In recent months many interested parties have insisted a direct link is vital, including the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee.

Following his visit to Cork for St Patrick’s Day this year, Mr Lee said: “It is high time to re-establish the direct flight between San Francisco and Ireland.

“There are many people who will fill those planes.”