Aer Lingus To Expand US Flights, Including Dallas?

While we see airlines like Emirates and Etihad with explosive growth, Aer Lingus has taken an extremely conservative approach with their growth. That’s largely because they don’t have unlimited funds and weren’t doing especially well financially.

Back in the day they had more longhaul service, though over the years they cut a few of their longhaul routes. Then they finally added flights to San Francisco and Toronto this April, and apparently they’ve been performing exceptionally well, so they’re looking at further expanding their longhaul operations.

Via the Independent:

The relaunched Dublin-San Francisco route that started operations in April has performed beyond Aer Lingus’ expectations.

Its new services to the city and to Toronto from Dublin added €22m in revenue in the second quarter.

The relaunched Dublin-San Francisco route that started operations in April has performed beyond Aer Lingus‘ expectations.

Its new services to the city and to Toronto from Dublin added €22m in revenue in the second quarter.

– See more at: http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/aer-lingus-to-launch-new-north-america-routes-as-profits-hit-39m-30472391.html#sthash.qi8o4CiA.A5loZ12H.dpuf

Aer Lingus to expand to Dallas?

Presently Aer Lingus operates longhaul flights from Dublin to Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, and Toronto. Then they also operate flights from Shannon to Boston and New York.

Aer-Lingus-US-Destinations

If they were to expand, I would have guessed the first destinations would be Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington Dulles. But it seems they have other plans.

Via Business World:

Aer Lingus today said it is considering opening up a direct route to Dallas in Texas following the success of its San Francisco and Toronto services.

The airline’s chief executive, Christoph Mueller, said the airline is intent on starting new routes and increasing capacity to North America after enjoying its best trading in at least five years and reversing a profit warning it issued in June, Irish American publication, Irish Central reported.

And in an interview with the Irish Independent, Mueller confirmed that new services are already on track and would come to fruition before he leaves the Irish airline next May.

While Dallas is a big business market, I’m still kind of shocked that’s the next place they’d expand to. Aer Lingus has a partnership with United, so if you’re going to expand to Texas, Houston seems much more logical to me, since they wouldn’t be relying solely on O&D traffic. But I’m sure they’ve thought it through and crunched the numbers, given what a conservative airline they are.

Where will Aer Lingus get planes for expansion?

The big question is where Aer Lingus will get the planes from. Presently their longhaul fleet consists of:

  • Four A330-300 aircraft
  • Three A330-200 aircraft
  • Three Boeing 757-200 aircraft, which are leased

My guess is that they’ll continue to lease some 757-200 aircraft to put on their east coast routes (like they have on their Toronto to Dublin and Boston to Shannon routes), and then use the A330s for newer longhaul routes. They also have some A350s on order, though those won’t be delivered until 2016 at the earliest.

Aer-Lingus-A330
Aer Lingus A330

Aer Lingus is great for award redemptions

Growth by Aer Lingus should be one of the most exciting pieces of news for those of us redeeming miles. Not only do they have an awesome new business class product coming out next year, but they’re also one of the best uses of British Airways Avios.

Aer-Lingus-Business-Class-5
Aer Lingus new business class A330

British Airways Avios are among the easiest points currency to come by, given that they partner with American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. And given that they don’t impose fuel surcharges and generally have good award availability, I’m sure many of us will continue to redeem miles on them.

Bottom line

It’s always exciting to see the “underdog” adding new routes, and I expect over the next five years or so we’ll see quite a bit of growth from Aer Lingus, as they take delivery of A350 aircraft.

Which cities do you think Aer Lingus will start service to?

Comments

  1. Aer Lingus to SFO is great for flyers as it should get the competitive juices flowing in the Bay Area………..a couple of nights in Dublin and on to the continent without having to go thru LHR………what a fantastic thought!

  2. Nowhere online? I’ll bet there is plenty of availability then if you have to go thru telephone BA booking as those calls are an hour at a time………

  3. For years (decades?) I got the sense that Aer Lingus flew mainly to US cities that have a heavy Irish/Irish-American population (so Boston, New York, and Chicago were obvious choices and mainstays for Aer Lingus for decades (I remember when they’d fly 747-200s into ORD in the 70s)), much like LOT has flown for years to New York and Chicago as well.

    I can’t figure out how their US route strategy, but I hope it works for them – if they’ve got a competitive business class hard product (coming) and soft product (I’ve heard good things), then maybe they could become a player in the way that Icelandair is – compete on price/service and attractive stopovers.

  4. @ justSaying — Nope, different airlines have access to different inventory, and the inventory BA has access to can’t be searched online.

  5. I was just looking at Aer Lingus route maps a few days ago to see about using them for a trip to the continent. While further expansion in the US is great (especially with the new business class), their European network leaves much to be desired unless you’re going to the UK, France, or the low countries.

  6. Local talk in Rhode Island is that Aer Lingus is in talk to add a Providence- Shannon route. People thought this would happen after the runway expansion was completed in 2017 but supposedly the planes can land and take off on the shorter route.

  7. Good to know! The Boston deal isn’t worth it to me being in LAX – plus I hate to do a trans con on a plane without leg rests, especially before a transatlantic.

    But the SFO option – very intriguing!! How many Avios from SFO to DUB in J?

  8. Per Milevalue.com, if you find availability on United (which you can search, since they are a partner), it should be available to book over the phone with BA (but, per Lucky, you’re saying that isn’t the case). Would give them a go with their new Biz class next year if it’s still 100k rt from SFO to DUB.

  9. 4 of the first 5 days in July 2015 show seats from SFO to DUB on the A330-200 in Business for saver awards at 70k points.

  10. UA usually shows 4 business seats. Qantas shows 8 seats. I’m pretty sure both are wrong. BA only able to see and book two and I have to do it over phone. And as soon as I booked those two seats with BA, both UA and Qantas don’t show any availability anymore.

  11. I’ve read this a couple times now. I wonder how they will roll out new seats with such few aircraft. They say they will have new seats next year but not new aircraft until 2016. Will they take some out of service to replace the seats? Will they just lease new aircraft instead? Just wondering out loud.

    Also this is the cart before the horse. Maybe if they start flying to a city more people from Ireland will move there and increase demand 🙂

  12. @ D — Lets see if Ethiopian’s LAX flight ever happens, and if it does, it seems they won’t have pick up rights there, but rather just a fuel stop. Orlando might not be far from Miami, but they’re *totally* different markets.

  13. @ daninMCI — That’s a great question. They’ll have to take at least one plane at a time out of service to install the seats, so that does pose a challenge to operating their entire longhaul schedule at the same time, let alone expanding.

  14. Reports here in Ireland are that fifth freedoms have been granted. We’re a small enough country so wouldn’t be demand for three flights to California albeit over 50% of SFO Pax are transit.

  15. Also, on Miami/Orlando, tell the man on the street they’re that different! Both exotic holiday destinations here and inter-changeable.

  16. MIA should and apparently will be the next US Desination for Aer Lingus.

    Chief Commercial Officer said Aer Lingus plans another Florida city and another city in the East Coast.

    My guesses are MIA and IAD.

  17. Again America! EI… Look East! Hundreds of thousands of forgotten Irish in Asia and Australia. Singapore or Kuala Lumpur ASAP.
    Emirates and Etihad are filling 4 777’s per day from DUB to Asia and Australia.

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