In anticipation of the Biden administration finally getting around to opening up travel to the United States the UK, Ireland, and the Schengen area (take your time Joe, no hurry), Aer Lingus has announced that it will be restarting two of its transatlantic routes to the US in the coming weeks.
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.
Towards the end of March, Aer Lingus began offering passengers a 10% bonus if they chose to accept a voucher for future travel in place of the cash refund they were entitled to, but the offer only applied to customers with bookings for travel through 31 May. Well, with 31 May rapidly approaching and with there being no sign that the travel industry is ready to reboot, Aer Lingus has now extended its offer.
Aer Lingus has been having a few issues with the delivery of its new Airbus A321LR aircraft which has seen the airline push back the start of its transatlantic services with the aircraft on at least two occasions. Just recently, however, Aer Lingus has brought forward the launch of A321LR transatlantic service to 2 August and now the airline has finally scheduled its first short-haul route with the new aircraft.
Aer Lingus will be taking delivery of 14 Airbus A321LR aircraft in total and 4 of these aircraft are supposed to be delivered this year. The Irish flag carrier was expected to be the first airline to offer transatlantic A321LR service with the new aircraft operating between Dublin - and Hartford from 1 July but a series of aircraft delays have seen Aer Lingus have to push back A321LR service on at least two occasions.
From 1 September 2019 Aer Lingus is introducing 'AerSpace' Business Class to its short-haul aircraft on numerous intra-Europe routes and, based on the description of the product we can expect, it looks as if this may be a further (if minor) alignment of Aer Lingus with a fellow IAG airline - British Airways.
We've known for a few months that the first transatlantic routes to be served by the Aer Lingus A321LR will be Minneapolis/St Paul, Hartford and Montreal but, up until now, we've only had a rough idea of when these routes will see the new aircraft. Now we have the first route confirmed.
Aer Lingus is becoming an increasingly more important transatlantic carrier as it expands its routes, updates its aircraft & cabins and eventually joins the oneworld alliance. The airline recently announced a big rebranding which will see its aircraft in a new livery and its crews in new uniforms but the more interesting recent development (for passengers) was the announcement that Aer Lingus would offer lie-flat Business Class seats on select short-haul routes.
There have been a few leaks across the internet recently but now Aer Lingus has officially revealed the results of its rebranding including a new livery for its aircraft. The rebranding will continue later in the year when new uniforms are unveiled.
The Irish Times has reported that as a result of the new aircraft Aer Lingus will be receiving next year the airline will offer a Business Class cabin on a few of its short-haul routes to Europe...but there's a twist.
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