Aer Lingus has revealed plans to launch transatlantic flights to a rather unexpected American city. From May 19, 2023 the Irish flag carrier will link its Dublin base with Cleveland, Ohio.
The new route will operate four-times weekly and be served by a narrowbody Airbus A321LR aircraft in a 184-seat, two-class configuration.
The link represents the 15th transatlantic route for the airline but is more notable for being the only scheduled service to connect Cleveland with Europe. The last time the Midwest airport had regular transatlantic services was in 2018 when WOW air and Icelandair operated seasonal flights to/from Reykjavik/Keflavik – both routes were discontinued shortly afterwards.
Although the region in and around Cleveland has a prominent Irish diaspora, the carrier will be banking on feeder connections from more than 20 European cities, including nine UK airports, to help reach the required passenger numbers. Local media reports also suggest that the airline has received significant funding from authorities in Ohio to help develop and support the route.
Reid Moody, the carrier’s chief strategy and planning officer said: “This is a significant announcement for Aer Lingus as we deliver on our ambition to grow our transatlantic network. The commencement of a new route, accompanied with further network connectivity, is an exciting milestone for the airline during a critical time of recovery for our business.
Dennis Kramer, Cleveland Hopkins Airport interim airport director added: “We are truly excited for the opportunity to have nonstop service for travellers to connect to Ireland and the many other European destinations. Our team has worked for years to bring this route to Cleveland for our community.”
Aer Lingus is no stranger to operating to secondary North American cities which can be overlooked by bigger European carriers. Before the pandemic, the airline boasted regular services to Hartford in Connecticut and Minneapolis in Minnesota.