Today, we’re announcing two new North American destinations for summer 2019 – Minneapolis-St. Paul and Montreal, Canada. We’ll commence flying direct from Dublin to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), and from Dublin direct to Trudeau International Airport (YUL) in summer 2019.
These new destinations will add a quarter of million additional seats annually to our transatlantic network, which already comprises 2.8m seats annually between Ireland and North America. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River in the US Midwest, the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul joins Montreal, Quebec’s largest city, as the 14th and 15th North American destinations on our expanding transatlantic network. Today’s announcement is a further demonstration of Aer Lingus’ mission to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic.
Our Dublin to Minneapolis-St. Paul service will commence on the 8 July 2019. This will be operated daily by a Boeing 757 aircraft. On 8 August 2019 we will begin flying to Montreal, Canada, direct from Dublin. The service will operate daily on an Airbus A321 neo long-range aircraft.
Montréal, Mon Amour
Famed for its French heritage, the city of Montreal is the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris. But it also has a strong Irish connection. In fact, the city’s coat of arms displays a clover in recognition of the large Irish community and history within the region. Some 430,000 Quebec residents are of Irish descent and in 2017, the city welcomed 4,200 tourists from Ireland.
Montreal is the perfect travel destination for those seeking culture, architecture and food – the city was designated a UNESCO City of Design in 2006. Montreal is built upon a series of interconnected tunnels which span 32km and connect shopping malls, metro stations, universities and museums. Montreal also boasts the highest number of restaurants per capita in Canada and the second in North America after New York. Diners in the city will often find food with a French flair on their menus, with the exception of poutine, a Quebec delicacy consisting of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy.
Montreal is especially noted for its cultural vibrancy and is home to over 120 ethno-cultural communities. The city plays host to a number of international events, most famously the 1976 Summer Olympics, the annual Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Just For Laughs Festival and the Montreal Grand Prix. Famous faces from the neighbourhood include Celine Dion, Arcade Fire, William Shatner and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Fun fact: the city’s airport is named after his father, Pierre!)
Best of the Midwest
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are bisected by the Mississippi River and each has a lot to offer. Most famously, Minneapolis is home to the Mall of America. This is the largest shopping and entertainment centre in the United States and the number one tourist destination in the entire Midwest, attracting over 40 million visitors each year. The mall spans 4.2 million sq ft and houses more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants, multiple nightclubs, an aquarium and even its own theme park.
First-time travellers to the area will be impressed with what else the cities have to offer. Outdoor activities and water sports are plentiful with 13 lakes across the region and over 500 golf courses in the state. The cities also feature within the top three most cycling-friendly destinations in the US. For the more indoor-inclined, the impressive Minneapolis Skyway is the largest continuous pedestrian walkway system in the world, linking 69 blocks over seven miles.
It’s not all leisure though, the Minneapolis-St. Paul region is also the seat of 17 Fortune 500 company headquarters, including popular chain stores Target and Best Buy, as well as 3M and SuperValu. The Twin Cities have been noted as one of North America’s fastest-growing tech hubs.
Prepare to be bowled over by the warmth of the locals, renowned for being ‘Minnesota Nice’, attributed to their courteousness and mild-mannered nature. Perhaps it’s down to starting their day with a bowl of sweetness – Lucky Charms were first made in Minneapolis!
Film fans will be familiar with Minneapolis-St. Paul as the backdrop for the Coen brothers’ Fargo as well as comedy sports-drama The Mighty Ducks. Musicians Bob Dylan and Prince also hail from the area, as well as world-famous author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Continued transatlantic growth
Since joining IAG in 2015, we’ve launched a total of eight new direct transatlantic services, to Los Angeles, Newark, Hartford, Miami, Philadelphia, Seattle and now Montreal and Minneapolis-St. Paul, marking the largest ever period of transatlantic expansion in our history.
We continue to drive our strategy of expanding our Dublin Airport base into a major European transatlantic gateway. Both new North American destinations offer seamless connections travelling from Europe and the UK to either Minneapolis-St. Paul or Montreal and equally travelling from Dublin to either point, connecting onwards in North America.
We offer connections from 20 key European and UK airports to Montreal and from 12 European and UK start points to Minneapolis-St. Paul, including Amsterdam, Paris, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, and others. The Montreal service will also facilitate connections to six French cities including Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Nantes and Bordeaux.
These new routes are enabled by the new technology delivered by the Airbus A321 neo long-range aircraft. We’ll be taking our first deliveries of this new aircraft in 2019. The Airbus A321 neo long–range delivers increased range, increased fuel efficiency and reduced noise.
Fares to Montreal start from €239 and to Minneapolis-St. Paul from €249, each-way including taxes and charges, when booked as a return trip.
Guests travelling to North America with Aer Lingus can enjoy the complimentary 23kg baggage allowance (Smart Fare), complimentary on-board meals, 120-hours of the very best in-flight entertainment and U.S. Customs and Border pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon Airport.