Both Delta and JetBlue made representations to the US Department of Transportation. The concern of both airlines is securing slots at London Heathrow. The Competition & Markets Authority is still reviewing the competitive impact of the transatlantic joint business in the UK, and has deferred its final conclusion until 2024. Regulatory approval has been granted on condition that members of the joint business continue to comply with slot remedies at London airports.
As a condition of regulatory approval, the joint business is also required to remove exclusivity clauses from the agreements between airlines. These require any participating airline to obtain pre-approval before codesharing with another airline in the area covered by the joint business.
International Airlines Group has announced it has ordered 6 Airbus A321XLR aircraft for Aer Lingus and 8 aircraft for Iberia.
The first aircraft will be delivered from 2023. The group has also secured options for a further 14 aircraft, which could be used by any airline in the group.
This is a clear vote of confidence by IAG in the Airbus A321XLR aircraft.
IAG is now doubt attracted by is efficiency and commonality with the Airbus A320 series. It is noteworthy that IAG is keen to emphasise it will offer the same passenger comforts as existing wide body aircraft.
For both Aer Lingus and Iberia, IAG emphasise that the aircraft will be used to facilitate transatlantic expansion.
Aer Lingus is to introduce a new short-haul premium fare called “AerSpace” from Sunday 1 September 2019.
This was due to be introduced some four years ago. However, its launch was long delayed, partly due to the acquisition of Aer Lingus by IAG.
At the outset, it’s important to emphasise this is not the re-introduction of business class on Aer Lingus short-haul flights. It is a new category of economy fare, albeit with many features of short-haul business class in Europe.
The main benefits of AerSpace are free changes and flight refunds, automatic standby for earlier flights, Fast Track security, lounge access, priority boarding, dedicated overhead bin space, and a free middle seat.
Passengers can also choose free food and drink from Aer Lingus’ Buy on Board menu. However, there will be no divider between AerSpace and the rest of economy. At present, AerSpace appears to be limited to just four seats in the first row of economy.
AerSpace fares command a premium of around £40 over Aer Lingus’ existing “Advantage” flexible economy fare.
Although Aer Lingus does not call AerSpace business class, some third party websites do identify it as such. The cabin also seems to use booking classes J, C, and I which are used by other airlines for business class:
AerSpace will be available on Aer Lingus routes from London Heathrow to Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Shannon and from London Gatwick to Dublin and Knock.
It should also be added this fare is not currently available when booking a short-haul flight only itinerary as a codeshare through BA. However, if you are connecting to a long-haul business class flight, you should be booked into an AerSpace seat on Aer Lingus short-haul flights.
More details on Aer Space are available at Aer Lingus.
Aer Lingus has today, Thursday 17 January 2019, unveiled its new brand identity and livery.
It was unveiled by its senior management team at a press conference at Dublin Airport. This is the first major brand identity and livery update for Aer Lingus in over 20 years.
Aer Lingus is naturally keen to emphasise its modernity and geographically advantageous hub in Dublin as a gateway between Europe and North America. And, with an obvious nod to the interminable political turmoil in the UK, Ireland’s place in Europe and attractiveness to inward investment.
Ever since International Airlines Group acquired Aer Lingus in 2015, there has been the question of when it will join the transatlantic joint-business with American Airlines, BA, Finnair and Iberia.
This has long been anticipated so that all airlines can offer reciprocal codeshares and recognition of frequent flyers.
Courtesy of Airline Info, a formal motion has now been submitted to the US Department Of Transportation to add Aer Lingus to the joint-business.
This is a long document that few would want to read in the run up to Christmas.
Much of it covers what is anticipated, namely that Aer Lingus and American Airlines will add reciprocal codeshares on short-haul routes in Europe and the US. The two airlines will also be able to co-ordinate schedules between Ireland and North America, and share resources, such as co-locating at airports.
A few points of note are:
1. Aer Lingus will be free to maintain existing codeshares with JetBlue and United.
Since Aer Lingus joined IAG it has maintained its long-standing codeshare relationships with JetBlue and United.
If Aer Lingus joins the joint-business it will be free to maintain these codeshares and add new ones with more US airlines outside the joint-business.
2. This does not mean Aer Lingus is rejoining Oneworld.
The submission makes it clear that Aer Lingus rejoining the Oneworld alliance is an entirely separate decision from joining the transatlantic joint-business.
Aer Lingus is on the record that no work has been done on it rejoining Oneworld.
3. Codesharing between Aer Lingus and BA may be at risk if the application is not allowed.
Currently, Aer Lingus and BA codeshare on each other’s transatlantic routes outside of the joint-business. This does benefit Aer Lingus in particular, as it gains feeder traffic from London.
The submission suggests that this may be at risk to protect the integrity of the joint-business where all participating airlines must treat each other’s flights equally when selling tickets.
In terms of what happens next, rival airlines may make submissions to the Department of Transportation.
When Delta applied to combine its transatlantic joint-businesses with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic into one, JetBlue, with an eye on remedy slots to launch its own transatlantic services to London, requested that the Department carry out further market analysis. If similar responses are received, this could delay a final decision by the Department of Transportation.
That said, at least there are signs of long-awaited tangible progress.
Aer Lingus continues its strong growth of transatlantic routes from Dublin with the launch of two new routes next summer.
The airline will fly from Dublin to Minneapolis – St Paul from Monday 8 July 2019 and Montreal from Thursday 8 August 2019.
Flights will operate daily. Minneapolis – St Paul will be operated with a Boeing 757 aircraft. Montreal will be operated with a brand new Airbus A321 neo Long Range aircraft, in respect of which Aer Lingus is yet to unveil interior images.
Whilst both routes are already served by direct flights from London, Aer Lingus passengers flying to Minneapolis – St Paul will benefit from US Custms & Immigration pre-clearance in Dublin.
There are ample connections to all flights from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow. If there’s one complaint we could make about timetabling it is that Aer Lingus’ flight arrives in Montreal close to BA’s own daily flight. If Aer Lingus had scheduled its flight earlier in the day, then Aer Lingus and BA would be offering a choice of departure times for passengers on a route where they have a lot of competition in Europe from Air Canada and Air France. Continue reading “Aer Lingus launches Dublin – Minneapolis & Montreal”
Aer Lingus is to fly direct from Dublin to Seattle from May 2018. The airline will fly to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The route launches on Friday 18 May 2018.
Flights will be operated using an Airbus A330 aircraft in a two class, economy and business, configuration.
This is the latest addition to a growing portfolio of transatlantic routes for Aer Lingus from Dublin. It has recently launched Miami and announced Philadelphia. It has also launched Los Angeles, Hartford, Newark and Washington Dulles in recent years.
The route will be codeshared with BA and it will be possible, via ba.com to book a one-stop flight from London to Seattle via Dublin with the benefit of US customs & immigration pre-clearance and a direct flight back from Seattle to London. BA flies to Seattle up to two times daily on most days of the week.
It’s also worth noting that BA does have a codeshare partnership with Alaska Airlines at Seattle to destinations such as Anchorage and Portland. Aer Lingus may well follow BA and add Alaska Airlines as a codeshare partner.
If you book via AerLingus.com direct from Dublin it will also be possible to buy an “unbundled” saver fare which does not include a checked bag, seat selection nor blankets and headphomes.
Aer Lingus is due to join the transatlantic joint-business with American Airlines, BA, Finnair and Iberia which is pending regulatory approval. However, based on comments by its CEO this week, there are no immediate plans for Aer Lingus to join the Oneworld alliance.
Aer Lingus is to fly direct from Dublin to Philadelphia from late March 2018. The airline will fly to Philadelphia International Airport four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The route launches on Monday 26 March 2018.
Aer Lingus has confirmed it is to launch a new route from Dublin to Miami.
The airline will fly to Miami three times a week from Friday 1 September 2017.
The route will operate using an A330 aircraft in a two class, economy and business, configuration.
Whilst Miami is served by a number of airlines direct from London Heathrow, this news is of particular interest as Dublin offers US Customs & Immigration pre-clearance and passengers can avoid long immigration queues at Miami airport.
The route will be codeshared with British Airways and by the time the route is operating Aer Lingus should be a member of the Oneworld alliance so members of Oneworld member airline frequent flyer programmes should be able to earn miles and asssociated benefits on these flights.
Separately, Aer Lingus has also announced more flights to Los Angeles, Orlando and Chicago for the summer of 2017. Flights will operate daily to Los Angeles, 4 times weekly to Orlando and twice daily to Chicago.
The airline has also announced new short haul routes to Porto in Portugal and Split in Croatia.
In terms of what hasn’t been announced, there is still no date for Aer Lingus rejoining Oneworld or a date for the start of co-operation between Aer Lingus and American Airlines.