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.
- An Aer Lingus A330-200 landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
- The Port of Seattle Fire Department welcomed Aer Lingus with a customary water cannon salute
- Flying the flags
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.
Aer Lingus Airbus A330-300
To say a lot has changed at Aer Lingus since I last flew the airline in 2014 would be an understatement. The airline’s fleet has grown, new destinations have been added, new products introduced, and ownership has transferred to IAG, the parent group of British Airways. On a recent work trip between New York JFK and Berlin, I had a chance to try out the new Aer Lingus business class product, which is now fully rolled out to every long-haul aircraft in the fleet. Yes, even the 757s.
My trip started at JetBlue’s Terminal 5 at JFK, where Aer Lingus is one of just two other airlines that share the terminal with JetBlue. For whatever reason, Aer Lingus is incapable of issuing mobile boarding passes on flights to and from the United States, so I had a chance to visit the dedicated business class check-in desks. Staffed by friendly JetBlue employees, I was quickly checked-in and on my way to the relatively new Aer Lingus lounge.
Celebrating Aer Lingus’ return to Toronto – Photo: Philip Debski
Back on April 14, 2014, Aer Lingus officially launched its comeback to Canada. That Monday was dark and wet, with pouring rain, when flight ‘Shamrock 1 Mike 9’ (129 in the reservation system) landed for the first time in Toronto (YYZ). The company has returned to the Canadian market after 30 years of absence, last flying to Canada in the 70s and 80s with scheduled flights to Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) and rare charter flights to YYZ.
The Dublin – Toronto route is part of the company’s recent transatlantic expansion plans. This is the 4th new launch by the airline.
Being served by their recently-acquired Boeing 757s, the route will be daily during the summer and 4x weekly during the winter. Toronto, for Aer Lingus, is an important business and tourism market, and also home to a growing Irish community.
- Retro A320 in the air. Photo by stevesaviation/Flickr
- Aer Lingus retro livery on the ground. Photo by namcys11/Flickr.
Retro airline liveries — who doesn’t love this stuff? Aer Lingus recently unveiled their livery from the 1960’s on an Airbus A320 to celebrate their 75th birthday.
Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said, “2011 is a very special year for Aer Lingus as it marks the airline’s 75th anniversary. Throughout the 75 years we have carried out our mission of connecting Ireland with the world, transporting millions of customers annually.”
Source: Flight Global