60 Years of Transatlantic Travel

We’re celebrating a diamond anniversary and national milestone this Saturday 28th April marking exactly 60 years to the date since the airline commenced flying across the Atlantic.

Aerlinte Eireann Lockheed

The Aerlínte Éireann Lockheed L1049 Super Constellation aircraft embarked on its inaugural flight from Dublin and Shannon to New York with a crew of 6 tending to 99 guests in economy class. Today, we operate a largely Airbus A330 fleet crossing the Atlantic carrying as many as 317 guests on each flight.

To celebrate our diamond anniversary, we launched a summer stateside deal offering €100 saving on return flights to all direct North American destinations, valid for travel from 16 June to 31 October.

Looking back….

Over the past 60 years, as Ireland’s only 4 Star airline we have carried 35 million transatlantic guests. Initially, guests could fly to New York and Boston, whereas today we fly direct from Ireland to 13 North American destinations. This summer marks our largest ever long-haul programme with 2.75 million seats across the Atlantic including new direct routes to Philadelphia, and Seattle which will commence in May.

Aer Lingus First Transatlantic Flight

In 1958, Aerlínte Éireann became the 17th airline to begin scheduled services across the North Atlantic and the inaugural flight touched down to a salute from the 165th Infantry of the New York National Guard. Before departing Irish shores, the airline held a celebratory banquet attended by then Taoiseach Éamon de Valera and Minister for Industry and Commerce Seán Lemass as well as the Mayors of Dublin and New York and a large press contingent.

Early flights were populated mostly with those emigrating from Ireland and it is estimated that the we carried close to 15,000 guests to and from New York in our first year. Flight time from Ireland to New York was then approximately 14 hours outbound and cruising altitude was between 16,000 and 18,000 feet making the journey more susceptible to turbulence. In 2018, the outbound flight duration of the ever-popular Dublin to JFK journey is almost halved at a scheduled 7hrs 30mins.

Aer Lingus’ transatlantic offering today

Today, our Dublin Airport hub is a leading European transatlantic gateway and ranks as the fifth largest European airport for connectivity to North America. Unlike any other European capital, guests travelling to North America from Dublin will enjoy US Customs and Immigration pre-clearance before taking off, ensuring a speedy airport exit when they reach the other side of the Atlantic. Increasingly, UK and European travellers are choosing to transit via Dublin with us to avail of our convenience, value and overall guest experience. In 2017, one third of guests travelling on our transatlantic services began their journey in either the UK or mainland Europe, transiting via Dublin. London Heathrow, Edinburgh and Manchester are among the popular UK start points together with Paris, Amsterdam and Rome across mainland Europe.

Aer Lingus A321neo

Since joining the International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2015, we have exponentially grown our transatlantic offering with 6 new direct routes to the US added in the past two years – Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Hartford, Philadelphia and Seattle. Guest experience has also seen significant upgrades, evidenced by the award of the Skytrax 4-Star airline rating in 2016.

Book your next transatlantic flight at www.aerlingus.com

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