Aer Lingus will operate both routes daily with a Boeing 757 aircraft to Minneapolis-St. Paul commencing on July 8 and Montreal with a new Airbus A321 long-range aircraft from August 8, 2019.
Welcoming Aer Lingus’ announcement today, Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said he was delighted to see Aer Lingus’ route network go from strength to strength.
“Minneapolis-St. Paul is Aer Lingus’ 14 transatlantic route from Dublin Airport and its eleventh new transatlantic route in the past five years. Montreal will be the airline’s second destination to Canada from Dublin and will mean it will operate 15 North American routes from Dublin next year.
“We have been working closely with Aer Lingus since 2014 to grow its North American business and build a substantial transfer business. These new services to Minneapolis and Montreal will both have significant onward connections from Dublin to cities in Britain and continental Europe.
Aer Lingus Chief Executive Stephen Kavanagh said he was “pleased” to announce two new transatlantic routes from Dublin. “These destinations each have a rich heritage, vibrant culture and much to offer visitors travelling for business or leisure,” he added.
Passengers travelling on Aer Lingus’ new service to Minneapolis-St. Paul will use US Pre Clearance facilities at Dublin Airport meaning passengers save time on arrival in the US by completing all the necessary immigration and customs checks prior to departure. The only queue a pre-cleared passenger encounters on arrival in the US is the taxi queue to their final destination.
Transatlantic connectivity from Dublin has grown rapidly over the past five years, with passenger numbers up 82 per cent from 1.7 million in 2012 to 3.5 million last year.
“Dublin Airport’s transatlantic traffic is up a further 17 per cent this year due to three new routes and expansions of some existing services. Dublin is now the sixth largest airport in Europe for transatlantic flights,” according to Mr Harrison.
This summer, 10 airlines are operating a total of 446 flights per week to and from Dublin Airport to 20 North American destinations, which equates to an average of 64 transatlantic flights daily.
The expansion in North American connectivity at Dublin Airport is underpinning significant growth in visitor numbers. According to recent data from Tourism Ireland, visitor numbers from North America to the Republic of Ireland increased by 10.7 per cent in the first six months of this year, while North American visitor spending was up by 28 per cent.
Dublin Airport is a major economic asset that supports or facilitates a total of 117,300 jobs – including 19,200 jobs on campus – and contributes €8.3 billion annually to the Irish economy. Continued growth in connectivity and passenger numbers at Dublin Airport generates increased economic activity throughout Ireland.