The Irish and American flags were flown as Aer Lingus’ inaugural flight taxied to the gate

On May 18, yet another European airline started non-stop service to Seattle: Ireland’s Aer Lingus is now connecting Dublin with Seattle four times weekly.

The first ever pre-cleared transatlantic flight into Seattle, Aer Lingus EI 143 touched down ahead of schedule at 4.55 p.m.

Until this inaugural, Dublin was the largest European city without direct service from Seattle. Aer Lingus is using an Airbus A330-200 on the route, and flies on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from departing at 5.35 p.m.

Aer Lingus COO Mike Rutter said “We are delighted to commence Ireland’s first and only direct service to Seattle, Washington State, with four direct flights each week. Seattle as a destination holds great promise for Aer Lingus given the strong business ties between the two regions making this an important route for business travel as well as leisure trips as exemplified by the high demand for business class tickets on the route to date.”

With the strong demand Aer Lingus is seeing in this route, the airline is apparently already looking at eventually increasing the frequency from four to seven flights per week.

In addition to Dublin serving as stepping stone to other European destinations, on westbound flights passengers will get to clear U.S. Immigration and Customs in Dublin. The flight then arrives in Seattle pre-cleared and passengers will deplane and collect their bags as if they were arriving on a domestic flight.

A bagpiper welcomed the inaugural Aer Lingus flight to Seattle

Upon landing, the Port of Seattle Fire Department provided a customary water-cannon salute. Also, a bagpiper was playing while the Airbus A330-200 taxied to the gate and parked. Inside the terminal there were plenty of festivities: speeches, a ribbon cutting, and plenty of cake. There was lots of green around the gate, from balloons to uniforms and banners.

Alaska Airlines was represented, making passengers aware of their global partnership with Aer Lingus and and the ability of being able to earn miles for mileage plan members.

The flight was turned around efficiently for departure, and while taxing out to the runway, the fire department provided another water cannon salute. Aer Lingus flight 142 to Dublin departed pretty much on time at 7.33 p.m.

 

Icelandair to the MAX!
9 Comments
Justin

Notice how they arrived into the A-gates.
I would have thought that they would have used the S-gates, but opened the boarding doors not the immigration doors…

Bruce

Great article Peter. Didn’t know that Bagpipes were Irish. Our daughters planning a class trip to Ireland. Better dust off the penny jar. Thanks for sharing.

“Dublin was the largest European city without direct service from Seattle.”

This seems obviously false. Dublin is pretty small, with a population of under 2 million for the whole region. (Ireland as a whole only has under 5 million people.) SEA doesn’t have direct service to numerous larger European cities, such as: Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Munich, Vienna, etc.

Probably should have read “one of the largest European airports without direct service to Seattle”. You are right about the size of Dublin, about 2m in the metro area, however the airport is one of the busiest in Europe, 14th as of 2017 with ~30m passenger movements.

Flights from Ireland to the US get complete customs and INS service in Ireland. You arrive in the US at any gate and walk to baggage or simply leave the airport. Really cool.

@Mike,

Even measured by passenger movements, there are quite a few busier airports in Europe without an SEA flight, like IST, MAD, BCN, MUC, FCO, etc.

Welcome aer Lingus!!!

In addition to Dublin serving as stepping stone to other European destinations, on westbound flights passengers will get to clear U.S. Immigration and Customs in Dublin. The flight then arrives in Seattle pre-cleared and passengers will deplane and collect their bags as if they were arriving on a domestic flight. This is a very convenient way to handle business.

I don’t think Istanbul counts as a European city yet. Istanbul is technically in Asia.

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