United terminates service with Aer Lingus to Madrid


US AIRLINE United has terminated its joint venture with Aer Lingus on the Washington DC to Madrid route, which has operated since March 2010.

The service will cease at the end of October as the airlines move to their winter schedules.

In a statement yesterday, United said: “We notified Aer Lingus last week of our intent to exercise our right to terminate the enhanced code share on August 1st for service between Washington-Dulles and Madrid.

“The termination takes effect 90 days after the notification, so the flights will continue through the end of October.”

United said it would maintain other codeshare flights with Aer Lingus and would continue to serve Madrid via its hub in Newark. Under the agreement, the flights are operated by Aer Lingus with United selling the seats.

The deal was agreed during the tenure of former chief executive Dermot Mannion.

Aer Lingus said the A330-200 aircraft would be used to supplement its routes from Dublin to Boston and Chicago.

It is also believed to have looked at the possibility of operating to Canada from Ireland but it has ruled out a service to the west coast of the United States.

A spokesman for Aer Lingus said: “We are happy to reintegrate the aircraft into our North American network,” he said.

Earlier this week, Aer Lingus reported strong results for the first six months of this year for its transatlantic services.

Passenger volumes on the routes rose by 11 per cent while yields were 9 per cent higher.

On Monday, Aer Lingus announced an interlining and code-sharing deal with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which owns just under 3 per cent of the Irish airline.

This will include Etihad passengers arriving into Dublin and connecting with Aer Lingus flights to the US.