Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, launched a new route to Newcastle Airport as the airline continues to implement its growth plan, designed to return the company to profitability in 2014.
The airline will operate two daily return flights to Newcastle from Dublin Airport, beginning 24 October, and aims to fly up to 65,000 passengers in the first year.
The airline, which aims to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years, has overseen a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the past 12 months.
The new Newcastle route will be operated by one of the airlines new aircraft and Aer Lingus Regional have scheduled 26 flights between Dublin and Newcastle per week at prime times to facilitate a convenient day return for business and leisure passengers traveling to Dublin and those with onward connections to the US.
Aer Arann, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, recently announced a package of measures to grow the airline as part of its ‘new beginning’ strategy which aims to return the company to profitability in 2014. These measures included the launch of three new routes to Manchester, Birmingham and today, the addition of Newcastle to the airlines network.
Aer Arann’s Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Fagan said that the addition of this new route to Newcastle is the next step in the growth of Aer Arann which provides further options for passengers flying to the North East of England: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest route to Newcastle. This new route connects Aer Lingus Regional passengers with one of the UK’s most vibrant cities and means that the airline is now serving nine major UK cities from Ireland. This new route will add up to 65,000 passengers to our network next year”.
“The Newcastle-Dublin route will facilitate connections to Aer Lingus mainline services to the US for passengers in the North East of England. Newcastle-based passengers can connect to some of the main US and Canadian cities – New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Orlando and Toronto – via Dublin, where passengers can avail of security and customs preclearance on some US routes. Ireland is the only country in Europe to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to some of the main US destinations”, he added.
Aer Lingus Regional aims to connect 3,500 passengers through Dublin in the first 12 months.
“Accommodating transatlantic connections for our UK-based passengers through Dublin is a growing part of our business and we continue to work with Aer Lingus in planning our schedule. In the first six months of this year, we carried over 36,000 passengers to Dublin for onward connections to the US. Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our customers with easy, convenient and great value in regional connections. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route to Newcastle,” Mr Fagan said.
Aer Arann operates 550 flights per week across 24 routes in Ireland, the UK and France.
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director, Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re delighted that Aer Lingus Regional will be operating new services to Dublin this year. This announcement increases the schedule choice for passengers flying from Newcastle on this important route. Dublin is a wonderful city break destination with a vibrant culture and fantastic tourist attractions. Business users will also be pleased with the convenient flight times on offer which allow day returns, an incredible benefit for regular visitors to Ireland.
The service also eases travel to and from some of the main US cities with swift customs pre-clearance at Dublin Airport’s fantastic new Terminal 2 facility. It presents a wide range of connection facilities for travellers which I’m sure will be welcomed by North East holidaymakers and business travellers alike,” Mr Sanders concluded.