Aer Lingus has flown its inaugural service to Cleveland in Ohio – becoming the airline’s first new transatlantic route since 2019.
The new service follows the surge in US demand for travel this summer.
First European airline
With the start of its new service, Aer Lingus becomes the only airline to fly between Europe and Cleveland, opening a unique gateway to the Midwest for its customers.
Customer demand for the route has already taken off, with more than 90% of seats booked across the peak summer season, with general transatlantic bookings up more than 20% on 2019 levels this summer.
Data shows 40% of the airline’s US customers are eager to travel outside North America, with 33% putting destinations in Europe at the top of their list.
The bounce back in demand for premium leisure travel has fuelled the jump in demand from Aer Lingus’ UK and European customers connecting via Dublin, with bookings to Washington D.C. and Orlando increasing by 40% and 35% respectively, since 2019.
The new four times a week service from Dublin continues Aer Lingus’ highly focused strategy of growing its position as a major transatlantic connecting carrier between Ireland and Europe – and North America.
Since 2013, Aer Lingus has grown the number of transatlantic routes it serves from six to 19 in 2023 and the number of transatlantic passengers will have almost tripled in the same timeframe, from 1.1m in 2013 to an expected 3m in 2023.
Lynne Embleton, CEO, Aer Lingus, said: “The addition of the new Cleveland route is a further demonstration of Aer Lingus’ commitment to develop Dublin as a hub, a key part of the airline’s growth strategy.
“At Aer Lingus we are seeing a 20% increase in transatlantic bookings, a strong indicator of the demand amongst US passengers for travel to Ireland and Europe. which is being met by our largest ever transatlantic schedule, delivering over 2.25 million seats this summer.”
“Not only do we serve the very popular destinations such as New York, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, our A321neoLR aircraft also allow us to provide connections to secondary cities such as Cleveland.
“Our strategy augments direct travel between Ireland and the US with connecting passengers from across Europe,” Embleton concluded.
The new four-times a week service from Dublin is operated with one of the airline’s state-of-the-art Airbus A321neoLRs, which is Aer Lingus’ most sustainable long-haul aircraft.
It delivers up to a 20% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions and almost reducing by half its noise footprint when compared to previous generation aircraft.
It accounts for over a third of Aer Lingus’ current fleet and from 2024/2025 it will boast this further with the planned delivery of six Airbus A321XLRs, which will open up further opportunities to expand Aer Lingus’ transatlantic network and deliver more new routes.
The inaugural service of flight EI87 departed the Irish capital at 3:30pm for its eight-hour 20-minute transatlantic crossing in time for its scheduled arrival at 6:50pm (local).
The returning EI86 will depart Cleveland every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 8:20pm, and will arrive back into Dublin at 4:55am the next day.
The airline now flies direct to 19 transatlantic routes from Dublin, Shannon and Manchester UK to North America and the Caribbean.