Aer Lingus Eyes Manchester Slots for Transatlantic Routes

Aer Lingus is reportedly considering flights from the UK to the USA for 2021

Aer Lingus has reportedly applied to Manchester Airport for slots which would allow it to launch new routes to North America in summer 2021.

The Irish carrier, part of International Airlines’ Group (IAG) and new member of oneworld, hopes to operate a full summer schedule in 2021, assuming air travel begins recovering from tough Covid-19 restrictions, including flights between the UK and the USA.

Earlier this year, Aer Lingus sought tenders from UK airports to take two Airbus A321 long-range jets that it has based at Shannon for use mainly on US routes.

The airline welcomed this week’s European Commission’s recommendation that member states recognise rapid antigen Covid-19 screening to boost free movement in the EU – the Republic of Ireland is continuing to insist that people arriving to the state show negative results from slower, more expensive PCR tests, even though many other EU countries accept the faster screening method.

In a statement, the airline said: “Aer Lingus wholly supports the EC’s recommendation for further consideration of the use of rapid antigen tests for travellers taking into account the latest scientific and technological developments in light of the epidemiological situation.”