Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Irish airline, airport and travel news.
Aer Lingus And Emerald Airlines Announce Accelerated Plans For Launch Of Regional Routes
Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines have announced accelerated plans for the launch of regional routes.
In a statement published on mediacentre.aerlingus.com, Aer Lingus said, “Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines have announced details of the commencement of Aer Lingus Regional flights, with tickets on sale from today. The flights operated under a franchise agreement by Emerald Airlines will commence on 17th March as Aer Lingus Regional. Today’s announcement will result in Emerald Airlines flying over 340 flights per week across 11 routes with fares starting at €29.99, with further route announcements to be made in the coming weeks.
“High-frequency routes, including Dublin-Edinburgh and Dublin-Glasgow, will be served up to 4 times daily. The announcement sees the re-establishment of services to regional points across the UK including Newquay Cornwall, Exeter, and Isle of Man. Emerald Airlines will be the only airline offering these services from Ireland. Critically, the announcement adds over 60 UK – US routes on the Aer Lingus network connecting via Dublin including connections from UK regional airports to New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle.
“Aer Lingus recently announced an ambitious schedule for Summer 2022, which reflects the airline’s goal to build to pre-pandemic levels of flying and anticipates continued momentum in customer demand. This commencement of the Aer Lingus Regional routes operated by Emerald Airlines will greatly increase connectivity between the UK, Ireland and the US, and accelerates Aer Lingus’s strategy to expand Dublin Airport as a hub airport.
“Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus, said, ‘Today is about opportunities. Opportunities for our UK customers to connect with ease to Aer Lingus flights to North America and to take advantage of the US preclearance facility. Opportunities for customers across UK and Ireland as we develop the Aer Lingus regional network. And opportunities for the Irish economy and Irish aviation as we expand our hub at Dublin.
“‘It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Emerald Airlines to accelerate this partnership and start operations 10 months ahead of the original schedule. We are all looking forward to welcoming our customers on-board Aer Lingus Regional services, operated by Emerald Airlines.’
“Conor McCarthy, CEO of Emerald Airlines, said, ‘We’re delighted to be able to commence operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan in line with the recovering customer demand. The time is right for Emerald Airlines to begin operations under the Aer Lingus Regional brand and we truly look forward to welcoming our customers onboard our flights as soon as February next.
“‘Our customer-focused schedules will offer choice, convenience and great value for both regional and transatlantic air travel. This announcement is a great boost for connectivity from Ireland to the UK, including cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Newcastle, Bristol, and Leeds. Emerald Airlines will be offering a high-frequency schedule with convenient flight timings to facilitate both business and leisure passengers.
“‘Emerald has also established an airline company in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and has applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and Operating Licence. We are very confident that this will result in long-term connectivity being maintained across the Irish Sea and will boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Britain. We have already reached a long-term commercial agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many cities in the UK as soon as possible in 2022. Further details, routes and launch dates in relation to the Belfast operation will be announced in the New Year.’
“Emerald Airlines is continuing with the expansion of its fleet of ATR72-600s. The ATR72-600, the latest generation of turboprop aircraft combining environmental and economic performance, has a significant environmental advantage over regional jets and other turboprop aircraft emitting up to 40% less CO2 on short, regional flights.
“For more information on fares and flight times, and to book visit aerlingus.com
“Recruitment is ongoing at Emerald Airlines with more information on positions available on the Emerald Airlines’ careers page.”
Dublin Airport Publishes Christmas Message
Dublin Airport has published a Christmas message.
In the message published on its website, Dublin Airport stated, “With Christmas season well and truly upon us, Dublin Airport expects to be much busier this year than last year, with an average of 45,000 passengers travelling through its terminals each day. This compares with an average of 12,000 daily passengers in 2020.
“The busiest day during the Christmas season is expected to be this Sunday, December 19, followed closely by Thursday, December 23.
“The traffic situation this year is more unpredictable than a normal Christmas so final passenger numbers may differ from the forecast traffic levels.
“The normal Christmas entertainment schedule at Dublin Airport has been postponed for a second year.
“Kevin Cullinane, Group Head of Communications at daa, the operators of Dublin and Cork airports said, ‘Every effort was made to put an entertainment schedule in place, and we would like to thank all those that volunteered their talents and services in a bid to make it happen, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19 guidelines, Dublin Airport is unable to host its Christmas music programme this year.’
“‘However, everything lies in readiness for Santa’s flight plans this Christmas Eve. We are maintaining close contact with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to monitor Santa’s progress over Irish air space, and to ensure that his reindeer are assisted with a smooth landing. There will be no flights on Christmas Day to make sure Santa has the skies to himself as he approaches Ireland from the North Pole after midnight on Christmas Eve. Everyone can help ensure he maintains social distance by being tucked up early for bed on the night and stay fast asleep,’ Kevin Cullinane added.
“Dublin Airport will close on Christmas Day – the only day on which it closes every year – however a number of staff members will remain on duty that day, including the airport’s emergency fire services and Airport Police.
“Flight operations will cease on Christmas Eve. The last flight to depart is an Air Moldova flight to Chișinău at 11.10pm and the final arrival is an Aer Lingus flight from Tenerife, which is due to arrive at 11.35pm.
“The airport will reopen on St. Stephen’s Day when a TAP Air Portugal flight from Lisbon arrives at 03.05am.
“‘Over the Christmas period we would like to remind all passengers to comply fully with COVID-19 guidelines throughout their journey through Dublin Airport,’ Kevin Cullinane added. ‘Face masks should be worn when in the airport buildings, social distancing protocols should be observed and there are more than 1,000 hand sanitisers located throughout the airport campus.’
“In line with Irish Government guidelines and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines, to help maintain social distancing, access to the terminals is limited to passengers, crew and airport staff.
“‘We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of Dublin Airport’s passengers, staff, airline partners, business partners, supporters, neighbours and friends a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous New Year,’ said Kevin Cullinane.”
Dublin Airport added, “Dublin Airport has the following key tips for passengers travelling over the Christmas holidays:
“PASSENGERS SHOULD CHECK WHICH TERMINAL THEIR FLIGHT IS DEPARTING FROM
“Aer Lingus, Emirates, and ALL American carriers operate from Terminal 2, while all other airlines operate from Terminal 1.
“Passengers are reminded to follow COVID-19 guidelines throughout their entire journey through Dublin Airport. Passengers should wear a face mask throughout their airport journey (masks are not required for children under 13) and observe social distancing and hygiene etiquette throughout.
“INFORMATION FOR ARRIVING PASSENGERS
“To comply with Irish law, arriving passengers must complete an Electronic Passenger Locator Form. This form can be found [at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ab900-covid-19-passenger-locator-form/] and should be completed online in advance of arriving in Ireland. Passengers should also familiarise themselves with current Irish Government guidelines in relation to arriving in Ireland. All arrivals aged 12 and over who are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 must provide either of the following: A negative or not detected antigen test (taken within 48 hours before arrival) or a negative or not detected RT-PCR test (taken within 72 hours before arrival).
“EU LIQUIDS & GELS REGULATIONS – 100ML RULE
“EU aviation liquid regulations are still in place, so passengers are reminded to pack any gifts in bottles or containers measuring more than 100ml into their checked-in luggage. Details can be found on www.dublinairport.com
“REMOVE ALL SHARP OBJECTS FROM HAND LUGGAGE
“Passengers are also reminded not to carry sharp objects in their hand-luggage, such as, scissors, nail files, blades, corkscrews, cutlery or other sharp objects of any description. These objects should be packed into checked in luggage. Christmas crackers may be brought through the passenger security screening area provided the novelty gifts inside are not sharp/prohibited items. Snow globes are not permitted in hand luggage due to their liquid content.
“Passengers should prepare for security screening by removing their outer jacket, belts, keys, coins and laptops from cases so that security searches are kept to a minimum.
“DON’T WRAP THAT PRESENT
“If you are planning to bring Christmas gifts by air this festive season Dublin Airport is asking passengers not to gift wrap presents and to consider using an open gift bag instead.
“Many passengers take a lot of care and time to wrap Christmas gifts for family and friends overseas. We would ask them not to wrap these gifts otherwise they may be disappointed if they are requested to open them at the passenger security screening area.
“Passengers should plan to arrive in the terminal building at least 90 minutes before their flight departure time irrespective of whether they are checking in online or at the airport. Passengers flying long-haul are advised to consult their airline’s website for check-in times.”
Dublin Airport To Get New Routes To Boston And Baltimore/Washington
As reported by The Irish Independent, low-cost Icelandic airline Play says it will operate services from Dublin Airport to Boston and Baltimore/Washington from April of next year.
The transatlantic routes will reportedly launch with its new service from Dublin to Reykjavík, on Airbus A320 neo aircraft, and reportedly will involve at least a 2.5-hour stopover in Iceland.
Fares are reportedly available to December 24 on sale from €139 each-way – though these reportedly must be booked as part of a return package on its website, flyplay.com.
After the sale period, they will reportedly rise to €169.
Connecting services to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) will reportedly start from April 28, and reportedly follow from May 14 to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
The “pay-for-what-you-need” model reportedly also sees seat selection on short-haul routes priced from €4 to €34, and priority boarding with a carry-on bag from €23 to €32.
The move reportedly offers a glimmer of hope for 2022 holidays, at a time when much of the world is tightening travel restrictions in a desperate bid to delay the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
It reportedly also recalls a pre-pandemic boom in low-cost transatlantic travel, when Norwegian Air and another Icelandic carrier, Wow, vied with legacy carriers for North American business.Bottom of Form
Wow Air reportedly previously ran low-cost flights between Reykjavík and Dublin and Cork, rapidly expanding as a “disruptor” after its launch here in 2015.
It collapsed in March of 2019, however.
Play was reportedly launched during the COVID-19 pandemic by a group of airline industry professionals, including former Wow Air executives.
It reportedly currently operates flights between Iceland and 23 European destinations, reportedly including Alicante, Barcelona, Gran Canaria and Tenerife, and reportedly last week announced routes to Brussels and Madrid.
“Travellers around the world are hungry to venture to new destinations and we’re proud to expand Play’s service to the United States,” CEO Birgir Jónsson reportedly said.
Ireland Wins Travel Award In The US
Ireland has won a travel award in the US.
Tourism Ireland stated, “Ireland has won a major travel award in the United States – ‘best destination in Europe’ – for the eighth year in a row. The award was presented to Tourism Ireland last night (16 December), at the 19th annual Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards in New York.
“Ireland took the number one spot in the ‘best destination in Europe’ category – beating off tough competition from England, France, Greece, Iceland and Italy. Travel Weekly is the leading weekly newspaper for American travel agents and travel professionals and thousands of its readers voted in the various categories earlier this year.
“Ireland has won this award every year since 2014.
“Welcoming the news of the award, Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said, ‘We are delighted that Ireland has been singled out for the eighth year in a row for this prestigious award. At the end of what has been another challenging and unpredictable year, this is some really positive news. Accolades like this help to shine a spotlight on Ireland for all the right reasons and, while we know there are still challenges ahead, Tourism Ireland’s aim is to roll out a really extensive and targeted programme of promotions in 2022.’
“Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said, ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank our travel trade partners across the United States – who continue to play a hugely important role in helping us promote Ireland. Our message for our US travel trade partners is that we cannot wait to roll out the green carpet and welcome their clients back for a fantastic vacation experience in 2022.'”
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.