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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, although you can read it here) 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.


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Comments (77)

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

  • davefl says:

    And then maybe we’ll get the US pre-clearance that was rumoured a few years ago.

    • Kazim says:

      Will Heathrow ever get US pre-clearance?

      • GM says:

        I wish it would. Took at least an hour and three quarters at JFK the week before last. Was standing there wondering if I really had to just give up and go through Dublin with EI in future.

        • Rhys says:

          Get Global Entry – well worth it if you travel to the US frequently.

          • dougzz99 says:

            If I went once every two or three years I’d still think of it money well spent. The TSA Pre is also a real bonus at the US end of things. You’re talking about £130ish for a really elevated experience over not having it.

      • dougzz99 says:

        Always seems unlikely. Space availability makes it unlikely. Terminal layout also a problem, hard to make it available in terminal X without the airlines not in terminal X kicking off in a major way.
        If you’re eligible consider GE, it makes US immigration a doddle.

        • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

          Isn’t Heathrow just too busy with US flights for preclearance to work? Instead of a 2hr wait on arrival, you’d have a 2hr wait before your flight. And also be in a stress over missing it.

          You’d also have some passengers disasvantaged because their airline opens check in an hour later than others, meaning those others have stolen a march on them at preclearance.

          Right now with the number of flights it has, DUB manages its preclearance – but it is also limited by gate space. Already it is having to close off half of the upper floor of T2 gates to create a further ‘sterile’ cleared environment for US flights to depart from. Any further encroachment of the sterile zone would impact EI’s ability to run their European short haul network mid-morning to afternoon.

          • Kevin says:

            Thanks. Always wondered about that.
            I have GE and usually go to states from DUB. Either way, it’s a lot better than clearing immigration on USA turf which most of the time is over an hour. Part of it is luck too, if you happen to de-board right before another aircraft arriving from Europe at the same terminal.

  • Phil G says:

    Just need to earn tier points from the tickets

  • Mark says:

    Having just arrived in Amsterdam, but the entire BA flight bags still in Gatwick (what a mess). I did get the following message about the lounge.

    Thank you for choosing to fly with British Airways.

    Due to refurbishment, the Aspire Lounge at Schiphol Airport is closed from 13 March to 30 June. You’re invited to relax and enjoy complimentary refreshments in Cafe Floor, located at D-pier near gate D7.

    We’re sorry for the inconvenience.

    British Airways

  • kt74 says:

    Cafe Flor at Schiphol is (a) right by the BA/UK departure gates at the junction of the 2 wings of the D pier, (b) temporarily closed to the public (see listing here: ), so it sounds like a “private” lounge, and (c) BA has proactively emailed us to ask to use Cafe Flor later this month

    The oneworld directory is telling people to use Lounge 40 (the old BA lounge). The lounge that’s unbookable is lounge 41 (the old Aspire lounge)

    Therefore Aspire is temporarily shifting into the old BA space. This is too small, so BA pax are being redirected to a private space in what was Cafe Flor. QED!

  • No longer Entitled says:

    Related to Man, does anyone know if Premair is ever going to reopen? It massively elevates the experience and is a real draw to the airport.

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      No sign of it happening but it is operational as you see activity in there every now and then. It looks to coincide with use by the northwest football teams. Another of MAN’s secret access perks, along with the BA flights to Cambridge.

  • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

    The “chaos” outside the aspire lounge is basically down to their poor queueing system to filter different types of guests into different streams. And poor signage on who can and can’t get in and what they need to show.

    As in they appear to have no system at all! And the signs are too close to the lounge entrance when they should be closer to lifts /loo entrance.

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      I have a deep and personal obsession with poor queueing systems. It’s the only thing that separates us from barbarism. And as a relatively short man wearing size small clothes, barbarism is not where I want us to end up. It’s fascinating how one missing tensabarrier or an unclear overhead sign can cause such utter mayhem. In DXB T1 last week, the Swiss check in opened with a cluster of first class desks, then business, then economy. But to even see the economy desks, one would have had to walk to the farthest end of the airport away from any entry doors. Sure enough, the first class queue (should have been a signal to all; why would there be a queue) clogged up with all comers with the first check in agents then having to direct them past business and further onto economy. What did said passengers do? Well of course they simply stopped upon passing the business queue and stood there. Thus leading the first agents to continually leave their desks to accompany economy passengers down to their queue. Complete waste of time for everyone concerned and all because one sign at the closest check in desk to the main doors hadn’t been put up to direct the flow.

      • Kevin says:

        There are so many rubbish queuing systems in airports these days. The Ryanair/Easyjet luggage sizers which point to priority and non-priority boarding tend to be the worst, usually because there isn’t enough space to allow the queue to form properly. There’s only so much blame on the airports and airlines though. The worst people are those who block others from queuing in the appropriate area. I’m mainly getting at some BA Group 2 and 3 customers. By virtue of the fact that you are allocated Group 2 or 3 means this probably isn’t your first rodeo!! Yet some seem intent on blocking the aisle for the Group 1s. If I have a comfortable seat near the gate, I’ll often just sit back and watch the chaos unfold and stroll on last! It is sometimes funny to see people rush to the front only to be last off the bus at a remote gate!

  • Tony says:

    BA dumping AMS lounge facility…this is all cost saving! Typical BA. Club Europe goes from bad to worse…economy seats, same seat pitch as economy, group 1 priority boarding dumped so bunfight boarding in favour of group 1 to 3. Yes BA we can see what is going on…and the ridiculous Club fares!!

    • Chris W says:

      Why would anyone pay for Club Europe??

      • Rob says:

        Why not? Peanuts price gap over a weekend, lounge x 2, fast track, 80-160 tier points, sit at the front, guaranteed to get your hand baggage on, improving food, champagne.

        Feel to sit next to some sweaty 20-stone person on Row 25 with your little pack of pretzels if you wish, after having had your hand baggage taken off you and chucked in the hold if you want, but ….

  • Richie says:

    If BA and KLM had married all those years ago, there probably wouldn’t be this kind of lounge silliness.

    • Charles Martel says:

      They could launch a shared Oneworld lounge – AA, AY, AT, BA, CX, IB, RJ and QR all have patchy flights there.

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

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