US Airways to begin direct flights from Dublin to Charlotte


US AIRWAYS is planning to launch a direct daily service from Dublin to Charlotte in North Carolina from next May.

Details of the new route were revealed last night in Vancouver at the 16th World Route Development Forum.

It becomes the first new service to be announced for Dublin airport’s Terminal 2 building, which is expected to open in November.

T2 will handle all of Aer Lingus’s flights and those services operated by long-haul carriers from Dublin.

US Airways expects to carry 50,000 passengers next year on the route, which will operate from May to September.

The airline already flies from Dublin to Philadelphia. It expects to have carried more than one million passengers between Ireland and the US by the end of next summer since it began flying here in 2003.

Charlotte will become the eighth US city served by scheduled flights from Irish airports.

The airport there handles more than 34 million passengers a year and offers transfers to Florida, the southern US states and the west coast of the country.

About 90 per cent of the traffic at the airport is operated by US Airways.

US Airways said the availability of full pre-clearance facilities for departing passengers to America from Dublin was a factor in its decision.

The facility, managed by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency, will enable air travellers to land in the US as domestic passengers.

This means they can simply collect their luggage and leave the airport.

“The availability of full pre-clearance facilities within Terminal 2 at Dublin airport was an important factor in our decision to launch this new route,” said Jason Reisinger, director of route planning at US Airways.

US Airways is hoping to attract passengers who will use Charlotte as a hub to fly to other destinations in America.

About 600,000 residents of North Carolina also claim Irish ancestry.

The Dublin Airport Authority said it was “delighted” with the new route announcement which showed there was continued strong demand for direct transatlantic links.

Based in Arizona, US Airways is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It posted revenues in 2009 of more than $10 billion and has more than 4,000 employees.