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Minister Flanagan Welcomes Three New Aer Lingus Ireland-US Air Routes

Irish abroad, Travel, Ireland, Minister Charles Flanagan, Trade, Press Releases, North America, 2015

Minister Flanagan Welcomes Three New Aer Lingus Ireland-US Air Routes

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has warmly welcomed today’s announcement by Aer Lingus of a major expansion of its trans-Atlantic route network.

Reacting to Aer Lingus’ addition of direct flights from Dublin to Los Angeles, Newark and Hartford (Connecticut), representing a 50% increase in the number of US destinations served by the airline, Minister Flanagan said:

“In an economic context, this is a hugely significant development, given that increased direct air access is one of the key factors in driving trade, investment and tourism flows between the two countries.

“Eleven direct Aer Lingus routes will soon be operating between Ireland and the US, our largest market for export goods, with the US consuming 22% of our goods exports in 2014, an increase of more than 7% on the previous year.

“The United States is also Ireland’s largest trading partner in services. The US continues to be the largest single investor in Ireland, accounting for over 70% of investments won since 2010.

“My Department is working hard on the ground to develop these trade and investment ties, led by our Embassy in Washington DC, supported by six consulates across the US."

Reflecting on the importance of the US as a source of tourism, Minister Flanagan added:

“The United States is now one of the top four source markets for tourism. The US market accounts for 15% of total overseas visitors to Ireland, but 25% of total revenue. These new routes will support the continued expansion of US visitor numbers into the future."

On the individual routes, Minister Flanagan said:

“The return of Aer Lingus to the Los Angeles route, after a five year absence, will add to the existing Ethiopian Airlines service on this key route to the West Coast of the United States, adding frequency and capacity to this pivotal hub.

“The new Aer Lingus service to Newark will both provide direct links to the largest city in New Jersey and provide further connectivity for New York, with Newark being only 8 miles from Manhattan.

“Aer Lingus’ brand new service to Hartford will for the first time provide direct access to the US State of Connecticut from Ireland. Connecticut is home to a strong Irish-American community who, until now, have had to travel to either New York or Boston in order to fly to Ireland”.

ENDS
Press Office
21 October 2015