Photo caption: Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus CEO and Conor McCarthy, Emerald Airlines executive chairman. Image Aer Lingus/Emerald Airlines
Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines are today celebrating one year of their franchise partnership, having operated its inaugural international flight under the new Aer Lingus Regional franchise from Dublin to Isle of Man, just 12 months ago.
Aer Lingus Regional services, exclusively operated by Emerald Airlines, has carried over one million customers and operated more than 22,000 flights over the past 12 months.
By peak summer, Emerald Airlines will fly up to 800 flights per week, across 30 routes serving 20 destinations in Ireland, UK, Channel Islands and France.
This includes new flights connecting Cork to Bristol, Belfast to Isle of Man as well as increased flights from Dublin to 14 airports across the UK, including a newly announced year-round service from Dublin to Liverpool and a summer service to Brest, Brittany (France). The airline is progressively bolstering its 2023 schedule, with over 2.5 million seats on sale this year.
Customers flying on Aer Lingus Regional routes can avail of AerClub, Aer Lingus’ loyalty programme. Each time they fly they can collect Avios which can be turned into reward flights with Aer Lingus and AerClub airline partners while also earning tier credits to unlock tier benefits such as lounge access and fast track.
The Emerald partnership is hugely significant for Aer Lingus not just in terms of the direct regional services it provides, particularly to smaller key UK markets, but also due to the number of Aer Lingus Regional passengers who connect onwards to Aer Lingus’ transatlantic services.
Currently Aer Lingus Regional feeds one in eight transatlantic passengers to Aer Lingus, supporting Dublin as the natural gateway to the US. Aer Lingus Regional customers transferring onward to North America can avail of US Immigration and Pre-clearance at Dublin Airport, skipping lengthy immigration queues stateside.
The first Aer Lingus Regional domestic flight from Dublin to Donegal took off as part of the franchise partnership, 10 months in advance of the original start date which was planned to be January of this year. The acceleration of the start date fell in line with the post pandemic uplift in demand for travel.
Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus CEO, said: “Emerald Airlines is a key partner for Aer Lingus, as we continue to rebuild and grow our transatlantic network. The first year of our partnership with Emerald has been very positive.
“Through Emerald Airlines, the Aer Lingus Regional brand is able to serve important smaller UK regional markets. Providing customers onto our long-haul services is a critical element of this partnership and in its first year it has been very successful in driving that traffic onto the Aer Lingus transatlantic network.
“Our close working relationship with the Emerald Airlines team means they have a deep understanding of our brand and strategy to continue growing Dublin Airport as a hub. I’m looking forward to more growth, more customers, more routes and more to come from Emerald Airlines and Aer Lingus Regional.”
What a year!
Conor McCarthy, Emerald Airlines executive chairman, said: “What a year it has been! Starting our journey in the skies over 12 months ago, we have now welcomed over 400 staff across both our Dublin and Belfast bases and will soon be operating 30 routes across 19 destinations in Ireland, UK, Channel Islands, and Northern France.
“I’d like to thank our great team here at Emerald for their ongoing support and commitment over the past 12 months, our partners at Aer Lingus, and our loyal customers for continuously choosing to fly with us – without you, this milestone would not be possible. We look forward to continuing to provide frequent, reliable and great value air services for many years to come.”
This summer Aer Lingus will operate its largest ever North American summer schedule to date, with over 2.25 million transatlantic seats on sale for summer 2023. Aer Lingus has the fifth largest transatlantic hub in the world at Dublin, presenting a huge opportunity for Emerald Airlines.