Aer Lingus’ UK arm has inaugurated its first flight from Manchester to New York. The flight marks the airline’s second transatlantic route and first to the US, bringing a new competitor to the busy transatlantic market. Let’s find out more.
On December 1st, Aer Lingus UK took off from Manchester on its first-ever passenger flight to the US. The flight was operated by one of the carrier’s two A330-300s, departing northwest England at 12:57 PM local time as EI44. It was all smiles at the terminal, with Aer Lingus and airport staff joining passengers in marking the occasion.
The inaugural EI44 took a straightforward path on the scheduled 8 hour and 40-minute journey to the east coast. The flight took a left turn to fly over Ireland before entering the Atlantic, where it spent four hours over the ocean. The aircraft finally saw land over Newfoundland as it began its journey south to New York, overflying New Brunswick and Maine.
The flight landed at 15:15 local time at New York JFK after 7 hours and 20 minutes in the air, a full one hour before its scheduled arrvial. Here’s the flight schedule for the return leg as well:
- EI45 will depart Manchester at 12:35 and arrive in New York at 16:05
- EI44 will depart New York at 18:15 and arrive in Manchester at 06:45 AM (+1 day)
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Not the usual
While Aer Lingus’ A330-300 flew this inaugural service, registered G-EILA, this won’t be the case from Friday. Instead, the route will be flown by an Airbus A321LR, registered G-EIRH. The narrowbody aircraft comes with 16 lie-flat seats in business class and 168 in economy.
Aer Lingus UK operates a fleet of three aircraft, equal to its current network. On December 11th, the airline will kick off its second US route, flying from Manchester to Orlando, Florida. This busy leisure route has more competition than MAN-JFK, but also comes with robust demand.
The two routes join Aer Lingus’ existing route from Manchester to Barbados, the airline’s first, which launched in October. This route has seen high demand and good fare yield, allowing EI to launch this route ahead of even those to the US, which had its border closed until early November.
While Aer Lingus celebrates its first flight from the UK to the US, the industry is still holding its breath about the latest Omicron variant of COVID. Dozens of countries have either suspended flights or tightened entry for travelers from southern Africa, while some have even closed their borders to foreigners in response.
Passengers to the US from all countries might be feeling the impact as well. The CDC is currently considering tightening testing rules for all arrivals, requiring passengers to get a negative test within one day of departure, according to CNN. This will lead to more expensive tests and last-minute changes, as countries hope to avoid another wave of infections.
What do you think about Aer Lingus UK’s new route to the US? Let us know in the comments!