Aer Lingus is expanding its roster of U.S. cities with service to Dublin, adding new routes to Los Angeles, Newark and Hartford, CT. It's Aer Lingus' biggest one-time expansion since it first started flying trans-Atlantic in 1958.
Aer Lingus has been known for its discount fares and an extensive network of European cities reachable from Dublin, has only recently become part of International Air Group, which also owns British Air and Iberia. Keeping Aer Lingus's trans-ocean services going was a part of the deal, but the expansion goes beyond that.
Los Angeles, a former Aer Lingus destination, will have a 5-days-a-week service using an A330, starting May 4; Newark will have a daily A330 round-trip starting September 1st.
But the outlier in the list is a daily flight, using a 757, to Hartford's Bradley International. In recent years it has not had any direct service to Europe, and local airport authorities have made that a priority that Aer Lingus will now meet. While it's not a large local market, it's well-located to pick up business from Boston, New York, New Haven and Providence if the price is right.
Dublin and Aer Lingus offer a number of benefits for U.S. travelers to Europe. In addition to lower fares in many cases, there is the possibility of a stopover in Dublin on the way to, say Paris or Rome. For travelers returning to the U.S., there's customs and immigration pre-clearance in Dublin, reducing arrival delays in the U.S. And for American Airlines loyalists: with its new owners, Aer Lingus will soon be a Oneworld partner.