Aer Lingus will get up to €11.4 million over four years after agreeing to continue flying between Hartford, Connecticut, in the US and Dublin.
The Irish airline began services to Bradley airport in Hartford two years ago as part of its transatlantic expansion. Yesterday, the US state’s department of economic and community development confirmed it had agreed to pay Aer Lingus up to $13.3 million (€11.37 million) over four years for renewing the service.
Aer Lingus and Connecticut agreed a similar deal in 2016 under which the state paid pledged to pay the airline up to $4.5 million a year if revenue from the route fell short of a set amount.
Under the new agreement, the guarantee reduces from $4.5 million to a maximum of $3.8 million in the second year, $3 million in the third and $2 million in the fourth, a total of $13.3 million.
Aer Lingus will fly the route in the fifth and sixth year with no subsidy. The airline confirmed the agreement with Connecticut yesterday.
It would not comment on whether it received cash from other North American airports that it serves, including Minneapolis and Montreal, two new routes it announced this week and will commence flying from next year.
Aer Lingus operates Bradley's only direct flight to Europe. It sells the service there on the basis that it can offer connections via Dublin to multiple European destinations.
Airports, or the regions they serve, often lure airlines with incentives. EU state aid rules govern such offers in Europe where government-linked organisations are involved. The US has different rules for these schemes.