HomeAirlinesAer LingusDELAYED: Aer Lingus Launches Two New Routes To The United States (And...

DELAYED: Aer Lingus Launches Two New Routes To The United States (And One To The Caribbean)

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Update: 16 June 2021: With no sign that the Biden administration is set to allow travelers from the UK to enter the United States, Aer Lingus has confirmed that it is delaying the start of its proposed new transatlantic services to the US. I’ve updated the schedules below.

We’ve known for some time that Aer Lingus has been planning to launch a number of new non-stop transatlantic routes from Manchester in the UK with New York and Boston among the destinations being targeted but details have been thin on the ground. Now, however, Aer Lingus has finally unveiled its plans and they’re not entirely free from surprises.

The Aer Lingus Route Announcements

Aer Lingus has confirmed that 2021 will see it launch services from Manchester to New York (JFK), Orlando, and Barbados. The airline has also confirmed that it will launch a service between Manchester and Boston in 2022.

The biggest surprise here is that Aer Lingus plans to offer a service to Barbados as I haven’t heard or read anyone suggesting that the airline was considering Barbados as a destination. This seems to have come out of the blue but it may have been a decision that was taken to allow IAG to better compete with Virgin Atlantic in the North West of England.

The next surprise in the announcement is that the route between Manchester and Boston won’t launch until next year (no specific launch date has been provided) as I would have had that route down as the airline’s number one priority. I can understand New York being an important destination for the airline but I’m struggling to understand the logic of putting Orlando ahead of Boston. Perhaps, once again, this is a move that’s being taken to allow IAG to put more pressure on Virgin Atlantic in Manchester.

The last surprise is one that isn’t in the Aer Lingus announcement but that I’ve noticed when searching for flights – neither of the new routes that are being launched to the US is bookable when you set the United States as the point of origin. Aer Lingus customers can now book non-stop roundtrip flights to New York and Orlando if they’re starting their journey in the UK, but the new non-stop flights don’t appear in the search results when you try to originate in the US and the website shows this message:

a white rectangular sign with black text

I’m not sure what’s going on here and as Aer Lingus doesn’t appear to have commented on this, so I’m left to assume that this has something to do with the DoT. If anyone has any insight into this, please let me know in the comment section below this post.

The New Routes

New York (JFK)

Aer Lingus will launch its new service between Manchester and New York JFK on 29 July 30 September 2021 and will operate it daily on the following schedule:

EI45 MAN 12:05 – 15:25 JFK (Daily)
EI44 JFK 17:25 – 05:50+ 1 day MAN (Daily)

According to ExpertFlyer, Aer Lingus will be operating this route using its narrow-body A321neo aircraft.

Orlando (MCO)

Aer Lingus will launch its new service between Manchester and Orlando on 29 July 30 September 2021 and will operate it 4x/week on the following schedule:

EI35 MAN 11:00 – 15:45 MCO (Mon, Thu, Sat & Sun)
EI34 MCO 19:00 – 08:35+ 1 day MAN (Mon, Thu, Sat & Sun)

Update 16 June: When this route was originally announced, the schedule showed 5 weekly flights (flights were available on Fridays too) but the new schedule (from 30 September) is currently only showing 4 flights per week on this route…but this could change.

According to ExpertFlyer, Aer Lingus will be operating this route using its wide-body A330-300 aircraft.

Barbados (BGI)

Aer Lingus will launch its new service between Manchester and Barbados in time for the winter season on 20 October 2021 (the launch of this route has not been delayed) and will operate it 3x/week on the following schedule:

EI31 MAN 11:00 – 16:35 BGI (Wed, Fri & Sun)
EI30 BGI 19:40 – 08:10+ 1 day MAN (Wed, Fri & Sun)

According to ExpertFlyer, Aer Lingus will be operating this route using its wide-body A330-300 aircraft.

All these routes are now bookable on the Aer Lingus website but as I pointed out earlier, not if you’re originating in the United States.

Aer Lingus Extends ‘Book With Confidence’ Policy

Aer Lingus has finally caved to the obvious (that the uncertainty in the travel world isn’t going away any time soon) and has extended its ‘Book With Confidence’ policy to 31 December 2021. The policy allows customers to cancel their trip (and request a voucher) or to change their flights without a penalty up to two hours before they are due to depart.

Considering the extensions offered by other airlines (including other IAG airlines like British Airways) the Aer Lingus extension to 31 December seems a little miserly but it’s better than nothing.

Bottom Line

Aer Lingus will launch non-stop service from Manchester to New York and Orlando from 29 July 2021 and will introduce non-stop service between Manchester and Barbados from 20 October 2021. The airline has confirmed that it will also introduce non-stop service between Manchester and Boston in 2022, but no specific launch date has been announced.

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