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Aer Lingus plans to grow its long haul routes from Manchester

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An interview with Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton in the Irish Independent last week (paywalled) shows support for a ramping up of direct long haul flights from Manchester.

Aer Lingus currently flies direct from Manchester to New York, Orlando and Barbados. We reviewed the Aer Lingus Manchester to Barbados flight here, photo above.

To quote:

Aer Lingus A330 Manchester

“We’ve made huge in-roads into the Manchester-North American market,” according to Embleton.

In 2019, Aer Lingus had a 3pc share of the transatlantic market from Manchester, with all that traffic at the time transferring to US destinations via Dublin. The collapse of Thomas Cook that year provided the catalyst for Aer Lingus’ entry to the Manchester direct transatlantic market.

This year, Aer Lingus expects its transatlantic market share in Manchester to be about 20pc, with the vast majority of passengers travelling directly to destinations such as New York, Orlando and Barbados. IAG revealed earlier this month that Manchester accounted for 13pc of all Aer Lingus transatlantic capacity in 2022 and 8pc of Aer Lingus capacity across its entire network.

“If customers can fly direct, they will want to fly direct,” says the Aer Lingus boss. “To be able to provide that direct service to them is good for us, for them, but it also builds the Aer Lingus brand awareness.”

She says there are “plenty of other places” in the US that customers in the northern UK want to fly to.

“It makes Aer Lingus more front of mind when they think about flights,” she believes. “I think it’s a win-win for us. I can see Manchester growing many-fold for us.”

The airline has six more A321XLR aircraft on order, for delivery from late 2024, which will add to the current long-haul fleet of 23 planes and allow further growth.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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British Airways American Express

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

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Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (77)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Matarredonda says:

    Can’t believe I am reading so much snobbery about lounges.
    When I fly, which is often, pay for entry and perfectly satisfied with what I get.
    To me, the lounge is all about avoiding the crush of people who seemingly when flying forget what manners are and constantly rush around with their trolley bags creating mayhiem.
    Must admit to being cross when the holiday maker crowd enter because they have got it free and guzzle down as much alcohol as they can. Even recently saw a couple stopped leaving because they each had two bottles of lager for drinking before boarding. Right cross they were when they had to hand them over!

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I think the main problem is when holiday makers pay for a lounge they want to get their moneys worth which is why you see loads of empty beer bottles on the table of the NCL Aspire at 6am. It’s not a criticism of the people, I would be doing the same if I was going on holiday, but it’s a different atmosphere than you got on the old BA lounge at NCL despite it having a much nicer alcohol selection

      • Harry T says:

        I never understand how the good people of Newcastle can stomach a drink before the early flights. I’ve lived here for years and never acquired the taste for booze at all hours!

  • Lady London says:

    Let’s be honest BA has made it abundantly clear they are pulling out of the lounge business.

    Concorde room and 1 other level might survive at Heathrow, and BA might share at high profile destinations for corporate travellers with the likes of AA, such as JFK. But it’s clear BA does not want to offer any lounge access at the mid level any more and is taking every opportunity to unwind existing provisioning.

    Combined with the fact that Priority Pass simply doesn’t work any more in the UK, and patchy provision elsewhere, this looks like there’s no way out of rubbish airport experience for UK travellers.

    I do sympathise with BA, actually, but as a traveller it’s disappointing.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I can’t see them cutting the number of lounges in LHR. The Concorde Room is needed because the F lounge is nowhere near a decent enough experience for first class travellers at a home base. The F lounge is needed as a fake first class lounge to send BA golds and OW emeralds. Then they need the club lounges for business class and basic status holders. If they got rid of the F lounge then they’d have to open the Concorde Room for golds as OW emerald benefits state that they get first class lounge access where available

    • Rhys says:

      I don’t think this is right.

      BA is pulling out of operating its own lounges, but the explosion in decent (and sometimes excellent) third party lounges by Plaza Premium, Aspire etc means that BA can just contract lounge provision out, and focus on its core business operating flights.

      The lounges at Heathrow are obviously not going anywhere – the idea that BA would reduce lounge capacity at its home terminal, which is already over capacity, is ludicrous!

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Let’s hope something similar happens to the awful aspire in NCL. It’s right next to the old BA lounge and so it could easily be expanded into that space

  • Robert says:

    Anyone had a problem trying to upgrade to business class using Avios but told its not possible because the flight is a codeshare, sold and marketed by BA but operated by QR? Very frustrating and didn’t realise this was a blocker. Thanks in advance for any advice, trying to upgrade between UK and Doha.

    • JAXBA says:

      Only BA/IB/AA flights can be upgraded. See

      Flight can’t be operated by anyone else (yet).

    • Simon Bennett says:

      You need to transfer your Avios to Qatar then book your upgrade on the codeshare code you have been given for your flight.

      • Robert says:

        Thanks for your advice. Seems a shame it isn’t straight forward or even possible. I transferred Avios across to Privilege Club but still no luck or ability to upgrade, Qatar just told us it’s not possible as it’s booked through BA, and BA told us it’s not possible as it’s operated by Qatar! How antiquated are these airline computer systems. Nevermind, will know for next time to just book biz in the first place, just a shame they don’t have Q suite on the route I take.

  • SammyJ says:

    Aer Lingus need to sort out the crazy situation that seems then excluded from TSA Pre-Check. We happily flew MAN-MCO with them, utilised the Global Entry outbound, only to discover that they’re not one of the approved airlines for the TSA Precheck system on return. Makes no sense to me!

    • davefl says:

      No GE at DUB either as I was told when I asked to add my redress number which is a completely different thing.
      Crazy not to have GE at an airport where everyone is pre-cleared.

      • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

        They do have GE. The white kiosks are down the back. They don’t have a separate TSA Precheck line for security before the pre-clearance area though. But they do have a separate line for J passengers so not a total loss.

        • Michael says:

          They have GE but as it’s combined immigration and customs preclearance you need to see an officer at a booth anyway. The officer will view your checked baggage and can call it up for a physical inspection if needed.

          The secondary security before preclearance is a shoes-off and baggage rescreen as the US aren’t happy with the EU security standards…. Not sure why there’s not a pre check queue but it would likely negate the point of the secondary check!

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      To participate in Pre airlines have to pass certain data onto the DHS.

      Not sure why EI don’t. Maybe it’s a cost issue for them or an IT issue.

      • JAXBA says:

        Probably an IT issue. EI are still in their own CRS, not Amadeus (like BA/IB) or Sabre (like AA). I really wish EI would just move to Amadeus already, like most IAG flights are.

  • Emma says:

    I was at Amsterdam Schiphol yesterday and we were sent to a roped off cafe area near to the British Airways departure gates. To be honest, it was a shambles with no seats and poor food. Still better than waiting in the every growing crowds and delays.

  • Philipp says:

    I spoke to the duty manager at Schipol on Tuesday and he said the lounges were being merged to create a new dedicated ‘oneworld’ lounge, the first of its kind.

    The current temporary setup at ‘Flor’ is a total shambles but should only last another couple of months.

  • Russell B says:

    Can somebody please clarify the lounge situation at Schiphol? Is Café Flo the temporary replacement for both the BA lounge and Aspire? I have Priority Pass through Amex Platium, and there tomorrow evening. Thanks.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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