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.
“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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