Every year since 2009, the airline has suspended flights from Shannon to New York and Boston between January and March, claiming the routes weren’t economical.
Since then, Aer Lingus had flown on alternate days to Boston (four times weekly) and New York (three times a week) and while just one Airbus A330 aircraft had been based at Shannon to serve both routes, two smaller Boeing 757 jets will now ensure daily operations to both cities.
Aer Lingus has leased three Boeing 757s from Dublin-based ASL Aviation Group, while the flights to Boston and New York will be operated by Air Contractors Ltd, part of ASL.
Yesterday, flight EI-111 departed for JFK International Airport, restoring full year-round connectivity with New York.
The airline’s new all-year Boston service commenced on February 5 and will operate seven days a week, while flights to New York will be six times weekly.
Speaking in Shannon last month, Aer Lingus chief executive, Christoph Müller acknowledged that Shannon deserved daily services to the east coast of the US.
“This move with the 757 has done two things. Not only can we now fly daily but we can fly daily to two destinations.
“This is only possible with the 757 due to the capacity and we are quite optimistic that we have got it right,” the Aer Lingus boss added.
Irish Hotels Federation president Michael Vaughan said: “We have been arguing and fighting since 2009 about 757s being used on these routes from Shannon.
“Airline industry and consultants have been telling us for years that Shannon is ‘757 heaven’ and this has now been proven.
“US tourists have always been the highest-spending visitor and they stay in the region.
“We would be hopeful that these year- round services to Boston and New York will see a 5% increase in visitors from North America this year,” he said.
“Dublin is also getting too expensive in terms of accommodation, and the resumption of these all-year flights could herald the return of group tours basing themselves in the Mid-West,” Mr Vaughan added.
Meanwhile, the week ahead will be the most significant one in terms of new service launches in the short history of the independent Shannon Airport.
Ten new services will commence this week, including Ryanair flights to Munich, Paris, Faro, Warsaw, Krakow, Nice, Poitiers, Berlin, Fuerteventura, and Bristol with Aer Lingus Regional.