by Aer Lingus on March 20th, 2017

The 2017 Aer Lingus UNICEF Ambassadors have just completed a field trip to Rwanda. Cabin Crew member, Helen Condon (pictured below, far left) shares her experiences.
Arriving in Kigali after a long but enjoyable flight it was evident how modern the Rwandan capital is and how much the people take pride in their city. It was very hard not to notice the fresh smell of cut grass, which reminded us of home. We were struck by the colourful attire worn by the people all around us.
 
We began our trip eager to get to the real meaning and purpose of why we are here, and this started with an induction with the UNICEF Rwanda country office staff.

The following day we travelled to Njororero District to attend the provisional inauguration of the Early Childhood Development Centre, which Aer Lingus guests funded through UNICEF on-board collections.  On arrival we were greeted by an overwhelming amount of local residents and children of all ages who will have the opportunity to avail of this remarkable brand new facility. 
The cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque was assisted by the local Mayor and Aer Lingus UNICEF Ambassador Jamie Mangado.  
It was clear that the Mayor and the local community couldn't be more thankful to Aer Lingus guests, cabin crew and to UNICEF Ireland. The wide smiles and bright eyes spoke volumes to how much these young children were looking forward to the excitement and opportunity of attending this new facility.
​Carina Caffrey shares her photos with some local children at the opening of the Early Childhood Development Centre
We then travelled to a community-based nutrition programme located in a remote area. The programme is facilitated by a local woman who gave up her home and plot of land to the community in order to educate locals on the nutritional benefits of a balanced diet. Sadly, many of the area's children are malnourished. The programme includes education on how to grow root vegetables including, believe it or not, Irish potatoes! Once the produce is harvested they are taught how to cook and utilise the crop to its full nutritional value. 
​This woman opened her home to allow her community to grow vegetables in her garden and have regular cooking demonstrations in her kitchen 
Babies of up to two years of age are brought once a month to be weighed and measured to ensure they are getting the correct nutrition and are gaining weight at the appropriate rate. Without this facility a lot of children from this rural area would sadly not survive.
​During our trip, we also paid a visit a primary and secondary school to observe a busy reading class in full swing. The welcome that all the ambassadors received was one of warmth and openness. We were given a guided tour of the classrooms by the principal. The average age for pre-school is from two to six years, and primary school kids range from ages seven to twelve. Over 2,000 students pass through the doors on a daily basis. 
Children at the primary school
It's been an absolute pleasure and honour to visit Rwanda. Through our visits and interactions we got a deep understanding that the people of Rwanda are very resilient, adaptable and very forgiving despite the history this country has gone through. 
 
Helen Condon - 2017 Aer Lingus Unicef Ambassador

by Aer Lingus on March 8th, 2017

Joanne McGarry has been working with us for 10 years now. She holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Applications from DCU and a Masters in Data Mining and Business Intelligence from ITB. After graduating Joanne spent time working in Accenture and Industria before joining our Digital & Mobile Team.

Can you tell us a little bit more your career path and how that led to your current role as Development Manager? 
My background is in Software Engineering. I started my career in global professional services firm, Accenture. Having worked there for 2 years primarily with .NET technologies. After my time there I moved to a telecoms company called Industria where I gained commercial Java experience. This combined experience enabled me to apply to Aer Lingus 10 years ago. The original role I applied for was Software Engineer and since then I have progressed from a contract Developer to Permanent Team Lead to my current position as Development Manager on the Digital Enterprise Integration Team. I lead a team who are responsible for the integration layer between our public-facing channels such as aerlingus.com and the mobile app and our backend mainframe systems and third-party partners.

Did you always want to work in Tech? 
I wasn’t fully sure at a young age but I.T. was experiencing a boom when I was applying to university and it sounded like an exciting career path to follow.

How do we promote women in Tech?
It appears to be difficult to attract women to positions in tech, however, in Aer Lingus we are fortunate to have a number of strong female leaders in Technology including myself as one of the two Development Managers. It is important for us to showcase Aer Lingus as a tech company in general and where possible allow flexible working practices in order to attract the best candidates.

What do you think we need to do to attract more women to Tech? 
I would like to see the promotion of careers in tech & science to those still in school and those at college. There needs to be much greater awareness around tech as an attractive career path for both men and women.

What is your view on International Women's Day? 
I think it’s a really important day as it showcases strong female talent in the workplace.
 
Do you anticipate any recruitment on your team in the near future?
Yes, I am actually recruiting at the moment for a Release Manager and 2 Middleware Developers to come and join my team. Anyone interested should visit careers.aerlingus.com or email recruit@aerlingus.com for more info.

by Aer Lingus on March 8th, 2017

We celebrated International Women’s Day today with an all-female team behind flight EI162 which departed for London Heathrow from Dublin at noon. Captain Louise Gilroy assisted by First Officer Amy Cunningham were joined by an all-female Cabin Crew on board flight EI162 and behind the scenes, key operational roles were also carried out by an all-female cast such as Turnaround Coordinator, Flight Operations Officer, Dublin Airport Duty Manger, Guest Service Agents to name but a few. We have over 2,000 female employees across all areas of the airline.
Pictured (L to R): ​Cabin Crew Lisa Carty, Cabin Crew Aisling Farrelly, Cabin Service Manager Fiona Power, First Officer Amy Cunningham, Cabin Crew Laura Labuschagne, Dublin Airport Duty Manager Sharon Carlyle, Guest Service Agent Megan Emmet, Captain Louise Gilroy and Guest Service Agent Marina Casadidio, 

​Sharing their thoughts about International Women’s Day:

Captain Louise Gilroy

" In 1977 Grainne Cronin was the first woman to be selected as a pilot by Aer Lingus and became Aer Lingus’ first female Captain.  Now 40 years later, almost 10% of our pilots in Aer Lingus are female. Aviation, like all industries, is constantly facing new challenges.  But it also needs to retain the fundamentals of safety that sustain it. Increasing diversity in aviation is essential to ensure that our business can adapt to change. On International Women's day, I feel inspired by the talented and confident young women who are now joining the industry. We need more women in visible leadership positions, who will challenge the norms and find new ways of working if our industry is to keep apace with change. I hope that young girls and women will see opportunities for them in a career in aviation or aerospace."

​Sharon Carlyle, Dublin Airport Duty Manager

"My role is to manage the operation in Dublin Airport and deal with any issues that arise on the day – I drive on time performance and ensure that we deliver consistently high service standards.  I am the point of contact for any agents or supervisors who encounter challenges and key to my function is timely decision making based on knowledge of the operation and experience.  The position of Duty Manager is thoroughly enjoyable and challenging, however I have never felt that gender defines us in the workplace. International Women’s Day is a great day to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of women.  I work alongside many inspiring women and today we can show how much we value them for pushing the traditional gender boundaries."

​Fiona Power, Cabin Service Manager

"The role of Cabin Crew is first and foremost ensuring the safety of our guests on board and this is an element of the role I and all my colleagues take extremely seriously. Naturally as Cabin Crew we are focused on ensuring our guests on board have the best possible experience flying with Aer Lingus.  I enjoy working alongside many inspiring women each day, and men too of course. As an empowered woman I’m proud to represent our national airline and fly the shamrock on International Women’s Day."

Eileen Quinn, Turnaround Coordinator

"​The role of Turnaround Coordinator is to manage the dispatch of the aircraft. I liaise with the Cabin Crew and handle any issues should they occur on board. As part of my role I ensure there is fuel on board, the total number of passengers have boarded the aircraft and all bags and cargo have been loaded which I then communicate to the Captain before the flight departs. It’s an area of the airline business that many would expect to be male dominated. Celebrating International Women’s’ Day with my fellow female colleagues I am proud to carry out the job I do with Aer Lingus."

Video: Our female flight crew operate the inaugural flight to Los Angeles


by Aer Lingus on March 3rd, 2017

​A bust of the former Ireland and Manchester United captain, who is credited with saving Barcelona from extinction and guided Real Betis to their only La Liga title, will fly with us today to Spain to be honoured by his former club.
​On Friday 03 March, a group from the Patrick O'Connell Memorial Fund including Maureen O'Sullivan TD and Kerry sporting legend Paul Galvin flew with us to Malaga. Seated next to them was the bust of Patrick O'Connell. The bust will be presented to the President of Real Betis Angel Haro shortly before the club's home game against Real Sociedad.
Patrick's Story

O'Connell grew up in Dublin and began his professional football career with Belfast Celtic in 1909. It was not long before he was impressing clubs in England and secured a move to Sheffield Wednesday. He was also excelling on the international stage with stellar performances for Ireland. In 1914 the talented O'Connell helped Ireland gain their first away victory over England in 1914. This win, together with a win over Wales and a draw with Scotland, led Ireland to win their first British Home Championship in 1914. Shortly after his commanding performances for Ireland, O'Connell transferred to Manchester United. He was the first Irishman to captain the club.

Following the outbreak of the first world war, the Football Association in England suspended top-flight football, and O'Connell spent the war working in a munitions factory. In 1922 he started his managerial career with Racing Santander. Under O'Connell's leadership, the club won five regional titles. Success followed him to Real Betis, who upon O'Connell's arrival were a second division club overshadowed by the city's more prestigious Sevilla. 

In a true underdog story, comparable to Leicester City's amazing rise culminating in their 2016 league win, O'Connell masterminded the Seville side's promotion from the second division before securing their only ever La Liga title in 1935. This success led him to the manager's position with FC Barcelona. The club was struggling to stay afloat with the onset of the Spanish civil war. Patrick has been credited with saving the club from financial ruin by bringing his team on a tour of Mexico and the US generating crucial funds for the Catalan club.

The bust of Patrick O'Connell will be placed alongside the La Liga trophy he helped secure for the team in the Real Betis museum.
The bust of "Don Patricio" was flown by Captain Aidan Bergin and his crew on board EI582 from Dublin to Malaga. 

by Aer Lingus on February 10th, 2017

​As well as cheering on Ireland in the Stadio Olimpico this weekend, there’s so much to see, do and eat in the Italian capital. Follow our guide to the best places to eat, drink and soak up the atmosphere on your rugby weekend in Rome. 

​Transport guide

GETTING INTO ROME WHEN YOU LAND

The Leonardo Express runs between the Leonardo da Vinci airport and Termini station in central Rome every 30 minutes. When you land in Leonardo da Vinci Terminal 3, follow the train signs to the station. The journey takes 30 minutes and the fare is €14 one way.

GETTING TO STADIO OLIMPICO:

There are no metro stations near the stadium, but it’s easy to reach by tram. Take Tram 2 from metro stop Flaminio on line A (close to the Villa Borghese gardens and Piazza del Poplo) in the direction of Mancini and get off at stop Mancini. A short walk across the river (over Ponte Duca D’Aosta) and you’ll see Stadio Olimpico. Individual tram tickets will set you back €1.50.
 

​When in Rome...

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO

1. Take a food tour. Eating Italy Food Tours run daily food tours around two of Rome’s original foodie neighbourhoods, Testaccio and Trastevere. Make sure you’re hungry - guests will be treated to up to 12 delicacies along the way. Tickets start at €75. 

2. Learn to speak the ‘language of wine’ with wine specialists Vino Roma. You’ll find their studio on Via in Selci, not far from the Colosseum. Tastings start at €50 per person. 
 
3. Do as the Romans do and explore the city on a Vespa. My Vespa Sightseeing Tours come highly recommended – their offices are at Via Cavour 80, a short walk from Termini train station.
 
4. Pay a visit to Piazza Navona, one of the city’s most beautiful squares. The elegant piazza is home to baroque palazzi (mansions), ornate fountains and the stunning Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. Sit back and watch the world go by over an espresso and biscotti at one of the many pavement cafés. 
5. Soak in the spectacular sights at Gianicolo Hill. It’s a bit of a climb to reach the top, but the picture-perfect panoramic of Rome more than make up for the exertion. If you’re in need of a breather en route, stop by Terraza San Pancrazio on Via di Porta San Pancrazio, for an aperitivo.  Bellissima!

A few basics to help espresso yourself:
Hello  / Goodbye: Buongiorno / Arrivederci
Please / Thank you: Per favore / Grazie
Excuse me: Mi scusi
What a great try!: Che splendida meta!
Jesus lads, it’s very tense…: Mamma mia ragazzi, è combattutissima…

​Food guide

BEST OF THE BEST

BREAKFAST: Coromandel, Via di Monte Giordano 60. Choose from a great menu of freshly baked breads, omlettes, bacon, pancakes and more.  And remember, cappuccinos are only drunk at breakfast time. After that, order un caffè (a shot of espresso) or un caffeè macchiato (a shot of espresso with a dollop of steamed milk).
PIZZA: Pizzeria da Remo, Piazza Santa Maria Liberatrice 44. Located in the heart of the Testaccio neighbourhood, this bustling eatery is home to the finest thin-crust pizza in Rome. Make sure to sample the arancini (risotto balls covered in crispy breadcrumbs) alongside your pizza.

PASTA: Pasta Imperiale, Via dei Coronari 160. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a slap-up meal in Rome. This little gem serves up some of the city’s best homemade pasta at just €5.50 a pop.Round of your meal with a mouth-watering tiramisu or nutella-filled pastry.
GELATO: Gelateria del Teatro, Via dei Coronari 65: Choose from 40 scrum-y flavours of ice creams, including Amalfi lemon, white chocolate and basil and Straciatella mint. Prices start at €2.50. If you’re still feeling peckish, don’t miss Cucina del Teatro right next door. Freshly made pasta and supremely good pizza await.

APERITIVO BAR: Take part in the early evening tradition of aperitivo at Freni e Frizioni (‘brakes and clutches’) on Via del Politeama 4/6 in Trastevere. Head to this super cool former mechanic’s workshop to sip on a classic spritz and snack on the daily selection of aperitivo.

by Aer Lingus on February 2nd, 2017

As well as cheering on the boys in green at Murrayfield this weekend, there’s so much to see and do in the Scottish capital. Take a trip up Arthur’s Seat, explore Edinburgh Castle, or enjoy a ramble along the Royal Mile. Follow our wee guide to the best places to eat, drink and soak up the atmosphere on your rugby weekend in Scotland.

Getting into Edinburgh when you land:

​Bus to the city:

Take the Airlink 100 from outside the terminal entrance. This express service runs every ten minutes and will take you directly to Waverly Bridge (near Princes Street) in approximately 30 minutes. The Airlink 100 also stops at Murrayfield stadium. Single: £4.50; return: £7.50.

Tram to the city:

Edinburgh Trams run services every seven minutes to the city centre with a journey time of 30 minutes. The tram also stops at Murrayfield stadium. You’ll find the stop across from the airport entrance. Single: £5; Return: £8. 

​Edinburgh rugby pubs – the key players:

1. Biddy Mulligans – Sitting in the heart of Grassmarket, this famous pub is home to good food, live music and the best pick of ales in the city

2. The Three Sisters – Known for its party atmosphere, sprawling beer garden and mega meat platter, this busy bar can be found on Cowgate

3. Malones Irish Bar – Said to serve the best pint of Guinness in the city, make sure you pay a visit to Malones in its brand new home on the Royal Mile

4. Teuchters Bar - Tucked away on William Street, this hidden gem is the perfect place for a post-match stop off. 

5. Dropkick Murphy’s – No matter the outcome of the match, Dropkick’s on Merchant Street is the place to let your hair down and ruck out on the dancefloor
 

​Scrum-y places for grub:

1. Best Scottish fry-up: Angus Fling on George IV Bridge is the perfect spot for a slap-up breakfast

2. Best steak in town: Perched on Picardy Place, you’ll find Steak, a meat-lover’s heaven

3. Best for pub grub: If you’re looking for a top quality gastroscranpub, Scran & Scallie on Comely Bank Road is worth a visit

4. Best for posh nosh: The Witchery is the most spectacular dining destination in Edinburgh – you’ll find it by the gates to Edinburgh Castle.

5. Best for brunch: Family-run Roseleaf in the historic Port ‘o Leith serves sumptuous brunch dishes until 5pm 
 

​Must-try Scottish delicacies:

You can’t visit Edinburgh without a trip to a chippy. Sample the city’s famous ‘salt’n’sauce’ aka. a mix of malt vinegar and brown sauce with chips. Barracuda on Northfield Drive or Eatalia on Brunswick Street serve the best in the city. 
​Here’s to a cracking opening match for Ireland!  

by Luke Fitzgerald on February 1st, 2017

In the first of a series of three guest blog posts covering each of Ireland's away games in the 2017 RBS 6 Nations, Luke Fitzgerald gives his lowdown on Ireland v Scotland. 

The 2017 RBS 6 Nations is almost upon us and I can’t wait for the action to get underway. Here are my five things to watch out for in this year’s tournament.

1. The Irish player to watch out for

Garry Ringrose. He’s not an unknown quantity, we saw that in the autumn internationals when he was superb against Australia. He has been superb for Leinster all season. Internationally, there isn’t as much space but with the attributes he has, he could be the X Factor for Ireland. It will be interesting to see if he can stake a claim for the 13 spot with Jared Payne gone. I think he can.
2. Ireland’s chances

I think we’ve got a great chance this year – I’m touting us for the win. We have England and France at home who are traditionally two of the harder teams.  We have Joe Schmidt as well, who is the best coach in the competition. Ireland are my favourites for the Six Nations.

3. Dark horses

France, for me. They had a good autumn and I think Guy Noves has something there. I think they are still a little bit behind organisationally but they have so much talent and can upset any team on their day.

4. Possible controversy

The new tackles laws. Hopefully it won’t have a big bearing on games but I think it will. It is one of the reasons why I think Ireland are well placed because you have to be really disciplined and it is something that Joe Schmidt is really, really hard on. I hope there isn’t a big yellow card or red card in a crucial game but I think it will have a bearing unfortunately.

5. Can Ireland beat England?
The old foe, they’re coming over to the Aviva on March 18, the day after Paddy’s Day. It looks like a Grand Slam decider if both teams play to their potential. Eddie Jones has tapped into something and they have been unbeaten under him. I think Ireland can overcome them in the Aviva Stadium – they’ve all the tools to do it. We’ve got the team, we’ve got the coach and if the Aviva Stadium can get behind the team on the day, I’m backing the boys to get the win.

Watch Luke Fitzgerald’s RBS 6 Nations analysis on The Left Wing at Independent.ie.


by Aer Lingus on January 19th, 2017

We're delighted to announce that we have been named as the most punctual Irish airline in 2016 at Dublin Airport.
For the past two years, we have been carrying out extensive “Voice of the Guest” surveys, to gather feedback on your experience of our service. We're glad to say that this feedback has been the principal driver of our decisions to enhance and improve the way in which we serve you, our guests. 

The overwhelming priority that shines through the survey responses is your desire to be on time. The mission to improve our On-Time-Performance has been the subject of a company-wide programme of change to our operating procedures. We're happy to report that we are making progress. We have just recently been confirmed as the most punctual major airline at our main base in Dublin Airport for every single month of 2016 and we are committed to achieving an even better punctuality performance in 2017.

In addition to improving our On-Time-Performance, we are also making other enhancements. We've cut our bag-drop time to under two minutes in Dublin Airport through the introduction of Express Bag Drop kiosks, we've overhauled every aspect of the Business Class experience, we are currently in the process of bringing you a new-improved loyalty programme as we roll-out AerClub throughout the year, and have added new destinations and extra frequencies on our network. Over an 18-month period, we have also carried out an extensive training programme with 1,600 of our team members to ensure that the service you receive is consistent, no matter where or when you fly with us. 

by Aer Lingus on January 10th, 2017

We're delighted to announce a new Cork to Cornwall Airport Newquay beginning 6 May for summer 2017. The new route will operate twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday, with fares from €34.99 one way including taxes and charges are available for booking on www.aerlingus.com.

The Cork to Cornwall Airport Newquay service brings to nine, the number of Aer Lingus Regional routes from Cork Airport in summer 2017.

by Aer Lingus on December 23rd, 2016

We’ve been flying people home for Christmas for the past 80 years, so we know how much it means to land back on Irish soil at this time of year.
 
We also know the magic of being reunited with family – so this year we wanted to do something really special.
 
Earlier this week, we surprised three families by flying their loved ones home to Ireland – just in time for Christmas.
 
Here are their stories. 

Meet the families

Brendan Donohoe

​Brendan aged 33 is originally from Lusk, County Dublin but has been living in New York for the last 10 years. He is the youngest of five children and has lots of nieces and nephews. Living away from Ireland he dearly misses his parents Seamus and Mary Donohue and the entire family. His dad Seamus battled cancer for years and thankfully now has the all clear – but until now Brendan hasn’t been able to celebrate the good news with his family in Ireland. To have been given the chance to fly this Christmas thanks to Aer Lingus means everything to him.

James Lambert

James aged 24 from Dundalk, County Louth is the eldest in the family and has two sisters and a little brother. His family are certainly very lively and huge animal lovers – his sister manages to put together an animal Christmas, with live animals including dogs, cats, a rabbit an even a tortoise. He has been living abroad for almost four years in New York and couldn’t wait to get back again for the animal Christmas!

Tracey Donegan

Tracey aged 40 is originally from Glasnevin in Dublin but has been living in San Francisco with her husband and two boys aged 6 and 13.

While Tracey was home this year to see her family, neither her kids nor he husband have been back since they left over three years ago.

The Donegans are self employed and they haven’t been able to take a family holiday since they relocated. Tracey would love nothing more than to get her husband home to see his father who recently had major heart surgery. Coming home this Christmas means the world to them and she’s predicting lots of tears at their homecoming!

The Soundtrack

Tim Chadwick

The emotive song featured on the video is by Dublin native singer-songwriter Tim Chadwick. After seeing a recent performance of his song ‘Belong’, we knew it was the perfect choice for this year’s short film which focuses strongly on the theme of home and family.
The track is available to listen or buy here: http://smarturl.it/TimChadwick
​Happy Christmas from all of us at Aer Lingus.





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