Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines announce accelerated plans for launch of regional routes

Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines have announced details of the commencement of Aer Lingus Regional flights.

The flights operate under a franchise agreement by Emerald Airlines and will commence on 17 March as Aer Lingus Regional. The announcement means Emerald Airlines flying over 340 flights per week across 11 routes, with further route announcements to be made.

High-frequency routes, including Dublin-Edinburgh and Dublin-Glasgow, will be served up to four times daily. The announcement sees the re-establishment of services to regional points across the U.K including Newquay, Exeter, and Isle of Man. Emerald Airlines will be the only airline offering these services from Ireland.

Critically, the announcement adds over 60 UK – US routes on the Aer Lingus network connecting via Dublin including connections from UK regional airports to New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle.

Aer Lingus recently announced an ambitious schedule for Summer 2022, which reflects the airline’s goal to build to pre-pandemic levels of flying and anticipates continued momentum in customer demand. This commencement of the Aer Lingus Regional routes operated by Emerald Airlines will greatly increase connectivity between the UK, Ireland and the US, and accelerates Aer Lingus’s strategy to expand Dublin Airport as a hub airport.

Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus said:

Opportunities for our UK customers to connect with ease to Aer Lingus flights to North America and to take advantage of the US preclearance facility. Opportunities for customers across UK and Ireland as we develop the Aer Lingus regional network. And opportunities for the Irish economy and Irish aviation as we expand our hub at Dublin.

It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Emerald Airlines to accelerate this partnership and start operations 10 months ahead of the original schedule. We are all looking forward to welcoming our customers on-board Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Emerald Airlines.

Conor McCarthy, CEO of Emerald Airlines said:

We’re delighted to be able to commence operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan in line with the recovering customer demand. The time is right for Emerald Airlines to begin operations under the Aer Lingus Regional brand and we truly look forward to welcoming our customers onboard our flights as soon as February next.

Our customer-focused schedules will offer choice, convenience and great value for both regional and transatlantic air travel. This announcement is a great boost for connectivity from Ireland to the U.K, including cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Newcastle, Bristol, and Leeds. Emerald Airlines will be offering a high-frequency schedule with convenient flight timings to facilitate both business and leisure passengers.

“Emerald has also established an airline company in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and has applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and Operating Licence. We are very confident that this will result in long-term connectivity being maintained across the Irish Sea and will boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Britain. We have already reached a long-term commercial agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many cities in the UK as soon as possible in 2022. Further details, routes and launch dates in relation to the Belfast operation will be announced in the New Year.”  

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

Given a very challenging 2021 for the airline and wider travel industry, I’m particularly encouraged by this very positive announcement from Aer Lingus.

By re-establishing services from various UK regional airports, such as, Newquay, Exeter and the Isle of Man, to multiple US destinations, Aer Lingus has really shown its determination to connect the UK & USA for leisure and corporate travellers.

Emerald Airlines is continuing with the expansion of its fleet of ATR72-600s. The ATR72-600, the latest generation of turboprop aircraft combining environmental and economic performance, has a significant environmental advantage over regional jets and other turboprop aircraft emitting up to 40% less CO2 on short, regional flights.

How would you spend two extra hours on your next transatlantic trip?

That’s a question a number of business travellers are facing, thanks to a great time-saving initiative for business travellers flying from the UK to the United States.

One of the most frustrating, time-consuming issues business travellers entering the US face is the long lines ahead of customs clearance and border control.  After a long haul flight, the last thing many travellers want is to be faced with a lengthy wait and interrogation before even being able to leave the airport.  

Given the opportunity, many business travellers would prefer to clear customs and border checks before arriving in the country.  

Now, thanks to several routes that incorporate a stopover in Dublin Airport, passengers can “preclear” US customs and border control at a leisurely pace ahead of their onward flight to the United States.  

Global Travel Management Sales Director, Paul Baker explained, 

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management

At Global Travel Management, we will always help customers find the best fare.  But ‘best’ very rarely just means ‘cheapest’.  What customers look for as well as the lowest-cost is the most convenient route: the best value services on board: and the best and most efficient use of time. So, we often find that a route to the US through Dublin, allowing customers to preclear in the terminal building ahead of the transatlantic portion of the flight is a very welcome, very useful way to save a couple of hours – or more – on landing.

Making a stop in Dublin Airport offers a great alternative for passengers who might otherwise travel to Heathrow or Gatwick before boarding a direct flight to their destination city in the US.  Because many regional airports across the UK offer connections to and through Dublin.  This can often mean saving even more time. 

Paul explained further, 

A long haul flight means eating into a lot of otherwise productive time.  Add to that the time taken to travel to London’s two main airports and clearing customs – with passengers arriving from all over the world – and you have a lengthy addition to your travel time. 

But more and more passengers are taking advantage of travelling from UK airports closer to their homes or places of work.  If you live in the southwest of England, the south coast, the northeast, near the midlands, in Wales or close to airports in Scotland, you can hop on a short haul flight to Dublin, preclear US checks at the airport, and get on your transatlantic flight.  

You’ll cross the ‘pond’ in the knowledge you will be straight through the airport and heading for your hotel, meeting or other destination without having to hang around.

Several airlines have opened transatlantic routes through Dubin, with Aer Lingus among the most celebrated. 

Keith Tenn of Aer Lingus told us, 

Keith Tenn, Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus has established routes to several cities all over the United States.  So, passengers can choose to take advantage of this well-established opportunity at Dublin Airport. 

The door-to-door time-savings can be substantial; many of the fares are very competitively priced, in order to offer great savings. Also, passengers can accumulate Avios, one of the most widely-used frequent flyer currencies.

Contact your GTM Account Manager when you need to plan your next transatlantic trip or if you want to find out more about how to make use of preclearance in Dublin.

Walsh spells out IAG coronavirus safety plans

Willie Walsh has told a committee of MPs his plans for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew while the coronavirus epidemic continues.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, gave evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee yesterday (Monday, 11 May)
Image: StuBaileyPhoto/Wikimedia-Commons/

Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG) was facing MPs gathering evidence for the Transport Select Committee.

He explained,

There is very little evidence of any passenger to passenger contact spreading of the coronavirus.  That’s not to say people on flights have not got off and subsequently tested positive and spread it as a result of that. 

Walsh went on to explain the measures IAG – comprising British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Level and Vueling – will take:

We will take all measures and we are working with regulators to implement what I hope will be a common system across – let’s start with – Europe, and hopefully globally, will take measures that need to be taken at airports, on board the aircraft and to ensure that all of the responsible authorities are able to track and trace everybody who has come off an aircraft to ensure that, if there is anybody that tests positive, that they can be tracked.

We are working with a number of regulators.  EASA, the European Safety Agency, will be publishing a draft document some time this week which will set out the regulations that they will propose to the EU27.  I expect that to be a comprehensive document which will deal with all aspects.  We will follow any regulation that is introduced to ensure that people can be confident that it is safe to climb aboard an aircraft in this environment.

Luis Gallego to succeed retiring Willie Walsh as CEO of IAG in March

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced that Willie Walsh has decided to retire as chief executive. He will stand down from the role and from the Board of IAG on 26 March 2020 and will retire on 30 June 2020. Luis Gallego, currently Iberia chief executive, will succeed Walsh.

Antonio Vázquez, IAG chairman, said:

Willie has led the merger and successful integration of British Airways and Iberia to form IAG.  Under Willie’s leadership IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups.

Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG. I hugely admire his commitment, strong leadership and clear vision, always ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of him. I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this Group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds.

Willie has established a strong management team and I am delighted that Luis will be promoted from this team to succeed Willie as CEO. The Board is confident that Luis is the right person to lead IAG in the next stage of its development and we look forward to working closely with Luis in his new role.

Willie Walsh said:

It has been a privilege to have been instrumental in the creation and development of IAG. I have had the pleasure of working with many exceptional people over the past 15 years at British Airways and at IAG. Luis has been a core member of the team and has shown true leadership over the years and I have no doubt he will be a great CEO of IAG.

Luis Gallego has been CEO of Iberia since March 2013 and Chairman of the airline since 2014. He will take over as CEO of IAG in March 2020.

Luis Gallego said:

It has been a great pleasure to work with Willie over the last seven years. It is a huge honour to lead this great company. It is an exciting time at IAG and I am confident that we can build on the strong foundations created by Willie.

IAG has not yet named Gallego’s successor at Iberia.

If you need to book flights on any of IAG’s airlines – Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL or Vueling – contact your GTM Account Manager.

Heathrow Terminal 2 To Open In One Year.

Heathrow Airport will open its new Terminal 2 in less than a years time. The £2.5 billion facility will eventually serve 20 million passengers each year after opening its doors on June 4, 2014.

The first aircraft, a United Airlines flight from Chicago, is scheduled to land at 0555. Prior to the opening next June there will be six months of testing involving 14,000 people in 182 trials.

Terminal 2 will be home to 25,000 staff and 23 Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings. It will open in phases, with the 26 airlines moving in over a period of six months. Just 10 per cent of flights will operate for the first three weeks of June before gradually building up to full operations.

Aer Lingus Staff to Strike.

Aer Lingus staff belonging to the SIPTU union are to go on strike next Monday 1st October over planned changes to their pension scheme.
Members who work at Dublin Airport Authority are also taking part in the industrial action.
SIPTU said the decision had been reached following the failure of both companies to put forward any meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute.
Flights and services at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports could be affected.

Whilst we (GTM) will be informing anyone whose flight is affected, please do not hesitate to contact us hould you have any concerns.