Aer Lingus Regional’s new service to Dublin Airport, operated by Stobart Air, has commenced from Leeds Bradford.
The airline will operate two daily return flights between Leeds Bradford and Dublin and expects to carry 70,000 passengers on the route in 2015.
The Leeds Dublin route will be serviced by the airline’s newest aircraft which were delivered brand new in June this year and will operate to and from Dublin’s newest terminal – Aer Lingus’ hub – T2 at Dublin Airport.
This is the first time in 14 years that Aer Lingus will operate a Leeds to Dublin service and the schedule has been designed to accommodate a day return for business and leisure passengers, offering convenient morning and evening flights.
Speaking in Leeds Bradford as the inaugural flight departed for Dublin, Simon Fagan, Chief Commercial Officer, Stobart Air said that bookings have been strong since adding Leeds to the Aer Lingus Regional route network earlier this year.
‘Over 5,000 seats have been sold on the new route and we continue to add key UK destinations like Leeds Bradford to ensure we provide choice, value and convenience for our customers. Aer Lingus Regional serves 13 major UK cities from Ireland and are on track to carry 1.31million passengers this year,’ he said.
This route will provide a link to the US through Dublin for Leeds-based passengers who can conveniently connect to Aer Lingus mainline transatlantic services. This includes flights to New York, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto.
Last week, Leeds Bradford recorded the highest level of demand for connections to the US (via Dublin) out of all the 13 UK regions served by Aer Lingus Regional.
Dublin Airport provides customs and security pre-clearance for passengers travelling to the US which means they are treated as domestic passengers on arrival and so avoid long delays often associated with security checks in the US.
Dublin and Shannon are the only airports in Europe to offer this service.
‘We’re witnessing a strong growth in passengers travelling from the UK to North America via Dublin and this is a major and growing part of our business. The US security pre-clearance service is a significant benefit and many UK passengers are choosing to fly via Dublin for this reason,’ Mr Fagan said.
John Parkin, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford International Airport, added: “We are delighted to see the return of Aer Lingus services at Leeds Bradford. The convenient schedule allowing for a day return to Dublin is sure to be popular with business travellers. Passengers flying onwards to North America will find the connecting flight schedules alongside security pre clearance at Dublin provides an attractive transatlantic flight option.
We’re delighted to see another new route added to our network today which is part of the growth of our airline and reflects the ongoing success of our franchise partnership with Aer Lingus.
Leeds Bradford is a popular destination and we look forward to welcoming passengers on board and growing this route further,” Mr Fagan concluded.