Aer Lingus has given the strongest indication yet that it is considering operating transatlantic flights from Cork Airport.
The airline’s CEO, Christoph Mueller, said the company was evaluating future fleet requirements.
And while there are no decisions imminent, it is understood the airline is interested in using Airbus’s A321neo on transatlantic routes.
With its lower capacity, the aircraft could enable the carrier to operate year-round services from Cork, Shannon, and Belfast to New York, Mr Mueller said.
His comments were reported by Aviation Week in an article which outlined the airline’s plans to bolster its transatlantic fleet with a new aircraft.
The report said the airline was examining plans to add another aircraft to its long- haul fleet next year, by leasing an Airbus A330-200 from United Airlines. This would allow Aer Lingus to add frequencies on routes from Dublin to Boston and Chicago. The additional A330 would bring the airline’s long-haul fleet to 11 aircraft.
Earlier this year, Aer Lingus said it was “very keen to see” if the Airbus A321neo or Boeing 737-9 Max will offer the range needed to enable it to be deployed on transatlantic services.
Meanwhile, Aer Lingus yesterday announced its 2013 summer schedule. With 85 destinations on offer, they include new sun and city break options and increased frequencies on many routes from Dublin, Cork, and Shannon.
The Greek island of Corfu is one of the new sun destinations. The company said additional frequencies will be added to many of its customers’ old favourites such as Berlin, Lisbon, Lanzarote, Nice, Chicago, and Orlando.
A new three times weekly service from Shannon to Faro in Portugal commences on May 1 while its services to New York and Boston recommence on Mar 11 from the mid-west.
Aer Lingus additions:
* New summer flights for 2013: Shannon-Faro (three flights weekly, May 1-Sept 13); Dublin-Corfu (once weekly, Mar 31-Oct 27); Dublin-Copenhagen (six flights weekly, year-round); Belfast-Palma (two flights weekly, Mar 31-Oct 26).
* Dublin to: London Gatwick (four additional flights); Paris (four); Berlin (two); Zurich (two); Munich, Bilbao, Lanzarote, Santiago de Compostela (from Jul 2), Nice, Perpignan, Lisbon, Dubrovnik (all one additional flight per week).
* Chicago (four), Boston (three), Orlando (one).
* Cork to: Barcelona (one additional flight per week), Faro (one).
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