New Aer Lingus route will compete with US airline

An extra transatlantic route, already served by one of its rivals, will be launched this week

Aer Lingus is due to announce details of its 2018 summer schedule and an extra transatlantic route this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Aer Lingus is due to announce details of its 2018 summer schedule and an extra transatlantic route this week. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Aer Lingus is likely to go head-to-head with one of the US airlines operating out of Dublin when it launches its latest route from the Republic’s biggest airport next year.

The Irish airline is due to announce details of its 2018 summer schedule and an extra transatlantic route this week.

Travel industry sources believe that Aer Lingus is planning to launch on a route already served by one of its US rivals, with Philadelphia in Pennsylvania named as a likely destination, along with Charlotte, North Carolina or possibly Atlanta, Georgia.

American Airlines already serves both Philadelphia and Charlotte, while Delta serves Atlanta. Flying to these destinations from Dublin will mean the Irish carrier will have to compete with the US operators.

American Airlines is also part of the One World Alliance along with British Airways and Iberia, which have the same owner as Aer Lingus, International Airlines Group (IAG).

Aer Lingus has been growing its transatlantic business with the backing of IAG, which bought the Irish company in 2015. The following year, it began three services, Los Angeles, Newark, New Jersey and Hartford, Connecticut. It began serving Miami, Florida this year.

Part of the airline’s focus is to offer connections via Dublin with its short-haul services in Europe. Around one in five transatlantic passengers travelling through the airport are transferring from one flight to another. Aer Lingus has most of this market.

Transatlantic business

Rival Ryanair’s recent cancellation woes aided Aer Lingus. It extended its normal winter sale on the back of the news that its competitor was cancelling multiple flights and had a record response from customers.

However, it came under fire last week when it cancelled a flight from Lanzarote in Spain, hitting about 100 passengers. It offered to fly all passengers back on Saturday, two days after the original service was halted following a technical fault with the aircraft.

Dublin Airport’s transatlantic business has almost trebled this century, from one million in 2,000 to 2.7 million last year. Numbers fell to 800,000 in 2002, the period after the attack on New York’s World Trade Centre, but have grown steadily from the following year.

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