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 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.
Aer Lingus and British Airways continue to extend co-operation with each other under the umbrella of their parent company International Airlines Group.
The two airlines are now codesharing on each other’s transatlantic flights between London, Dublin, Shannon and the USA.
This means that Aer Lingus flights from Shannon to Boston and New York JFK and from Dublin to Boston, New York JFK, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, Orlando and San Francisco can be booked under a BA flight number on ba.com
Codeshares can be booked whether connecting from London or starting your journey in Dublin or Shannon.
The main benefit of this arrangement is that members of the British Airways Executive Club can earn Avios points and Executuve Club tier points in the same manner as a British Airways flight.
All passengers also benefit from US Customs & Immigration pre-clearance in Dublin and Shannon and connections are available from London Gatwick for those who would prefer to avoid London Heathrow.
Similarly, the Aer Lingus code has been placed on all BA transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Gatwick, giving Aer Lingus passengers access to a more extensive route network.
It’s also worth noting that codesharing does not apply to BA routes to Canada and Central & South America.
Furthermore, a date has not yet been set for Aer Lingus to join the transatlantic joint-venture with American Airlines which is subject to commercial negotiation and regulatory approval.
Nor has a date been set for Aer Lingus to rejoin the Oneworld alliance.
International Airlines Group has today confirmed that WiFi will be rolled out across the short-haul and long-haul aircraft of its airlines: Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.
To date, IAG airlines have adopted a piecemeal approach to WiFi. BA has WiFi on just one Boeing 747. Aer Lingus has WiFi on its transatlantic Airbus A330s. Iberia and Vueling also have WiFi on some aircraft.
On short-haul aircraft IAG is expected to adopt an Inmarsat “Air To Ground” system which should deliver fast internet access speeds. The first aircraft will be in service by 2017.
On long-haul aircraft, new deliveries of Airbus A330 (to Aer Lingus & Iberia), Airbus A350 (to British Airways and Iberia) and Boeing 787-10 (to British Airways) are expected to be fitted with WiFi.
IAG will also aim to retrofit 100 long-haul aircraft (primarily British Airways aircraft) with WiFi. IAG will target rolling out WiFi to 90% of long-haul aircraft by 2019.
The fit-out of WiFi on long-haul aircraft is likely to be subject to IAG being satisfied that the technology is sufficiently robust for the global long-haul networks of BA and Iberia and the cost of retrofitting aircraft makes the investment worthwhile
IAG has not yet indicated what pricing model it will adopt for WiFi, which is likely to vary by airline.
As well as providing passengers with in flight internet access and the opportunity for new In Flight Entertainment services, it will be interesting to see what customer service initiatives will arise as consequence of equipping cabin crews will in flight internet access.
As was widely tipped online, Aer Lingus has today announced it is to return to Los Angeles and Newark airports next year, and launch a new direct route from Dublin to Bradley International Airport in Hartford County, Connecticut. The latter route will be the sole transatlantic route from the airport.
Aer Lingus will fly five times a week to Los Angeles from Sunday 1 May 2016, and daily to Newark from Thursday 1 September 2016. Both routes will be operated by A330 aircraft. Flights for these routes are on sale now at AerLingus.com
Aer Lingus confirmed during the announcement of its half year results yesterday, Wednesday 29 July, that it is to effectively re-introduce business class on selected short-haul routes, in the fourth quarter of this year.
The new “Aer Space” product will offer full ticket flexibility, lounge access, priority boarding and luggage handling and complimentary food & drink (we don’t know if this includes hot food or alcoholic drinks).
The seat itself will be the same as economy but the middle seat will be kept free.
There will also be no cabin divider between economy and “Aer Space” (this is so it doesn’t constitute a separate cabin for Air Passenger Duty purposes).
It is very similar to the “Excellence Fare” offered by Vueling and Germanwing’s “Best Fare”.
The routes on which it will be launched have yet to be announced but we expect that London Heathrow – Dublin will be one of the first.
We assume that passengers connecting to/from business class long-haul flights on Aer Lingus and its future IAG/Oneworld partners will be seated in the “Aer Space” seats.
Full details of the bid can be viewed in the offer document. A more easily digestable summary of IAG’s bid for Aer Lingus can be viewed in this IAG presentation.
IAG is due to hold a conference call for analysts tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. The deal is also far from done yet as Ryanair (which holds 30% of the shares in Aer Lingus) has yet to show its hand. The transaction will also be subject to regulatory approval.