Aer Lingus has just revealed plans to launch two new transatlantic routes in the summer of 2024, and they’re to the hubs of a Star Alliance and SkyTeam airline.
Aer Lingus reveals 2024 transatlantic expansion
As of the summer of 2024, Aer Lingus will begin flying from Dublin to both Denver and Minneapolis, with both flights already bookable. Let’s take a look at the details of each of these new routes.
Aer Lingus’ Dublin to Denver flight
As of May 17, 2024, Aer Lingus will start flying 4x weekly between Dublin (DUB) and Denver (DEN). The flight will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with the following schedule:
EI59 Dublin to Denver departing 4:15PM arriving 7:00PM
EI60 Denver to Dublin departing 8:45PM arriving 12:30PM (+1 day)
The service will cover a distance of 4,392 miles, and is blocked at 9hr45min westbound and 8hr45min eastbound. Aer Lingus intends to use an Airbus A330-200 for the flight, featuring 266 seats, including 23 business class seats and 243 economy class seats.
This route will be served year-round. Denver is a new destination for Aer Lingus, as this wasn’t previously served.
Aer Lingus’ Dublin to Minneapolis flight
As of April 29, 2024, Aer Lingus will start flying 4x weekly between Dublin (DUB) and Minneapolis (MSP). The flight will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, with the following schedule:
EI89 Dublin to Minneapolis departing 2:20PM arriving 4:55PM
EI88 Minneapolis to Dublin departing 6:45PM arriving 8:25AM (+1 day)
The service will cover a distance of 3,735 miles, and is blocked at 8hr35min westbound and 7hr40min eastbound. Aer Lingus intends to use an Airbus A330-200 for the flight, featuring 266 seats, including 23 business class seats and 243 economy class seats.
This route will be served year-round. However, there will be changes between seasons. As of the winter 2023 season (starting in late October 2023), the route will be served daily with Airbus A321LRs. Minneapolis represents a resumption of service for Aer Lingus, as the airline operated this route in the summer of 2019, but then it was cut during the pandemic. Now it’s making a return, five years later.
My take on Aer Lingus’ transatlantic expansion
Aer Lingus is an airline that has grown considerably over the years. The carrier’s long haul network consists exclusively of transatlantic flights, so it’s one of the few European airlines that basically doesn’t even look east for long haul expansion.
The airline expanded hugely before the pandemic, but as you’d expect, it has taken the airline years to build back its network. At this point Aer Lingus has resumed just about all of its pre-pandemic transatlantic flights, plus it has launched service to Cleveland, in addition to this announcement. In total, Aer Lingus now has 18 routes to North America, which is mighty impressive.
Keep in mind that Aer Lingus is nowadays part of the oneworld transatlantic joint venture, with American, British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia. You wouldn’t really know it, though, given that the airline isn’t part of oneworld, and doesn’t even offer reciprocal perks with American. The whole thing is a very strange business arrangement, and I don’t understand the lack of closer cooperation, despite schedule and price coordination.
What’s my take on the two new routes that Aer Lingus has chosen?
- Denver has one of the top 10 Irish populations in the United States, and the only other transatlantic joint venture partner with long haul service from there is British Airways; it’s also a major hub for United (Star Alliance)
- Minneapolis is a bit more surprising, since it doesn’t have as big of an Irish population, and is a Delta (SkyTeam) hub; interestingly no other transatlantic joint venture partner has service out of there, so I have to imagine there are significant incentives involved, since this is one of the first transatlantic markets being served by Aer Lingus before British Airways
I’m curious to see if these two routes prove successful for Aer Lingus.
As of May 2024, Aer Lingus will launch new flights from Dublin to both Denver and Minneapolis. The flights will operate 4x weekly with Airbus A330s for the summer season. Then as of winter, the Minneapolis service will operate daily with Airbus A321LRs.
It’s always cool to see Aer Lingus expand. We’ve known that Denver was one of the next major markets that the carrier was exploring, while the Minneapolis route marks a resumption.
What do you make of Aer Lingus’ new routes to the United States?