Liverpool is re-establishing it’s air link with North America with a new service “seamlessly” connecting passengers on to flights to cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto.
Irish airline Aer Lingus says it is resuming its direct link between Dublin and Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) later this year after a break of several years.
From October 23, the carrier will offer 16 flights a week to the Irish capital on an 174-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
Passengers will be able to connect onto Aer Lingus flights to the US, without having to check in twice, and will be able to pass through the US Customs and Border Protection pre-clearance process at Dublin.
Ireland is the only European country to offer this facility and means that people travelling to the US via Ireland are seen as domestic arriving passengers.
Described by Aer Lingus as “you can arrive before you depart”, this enables a speedy exit after arriving on the airline’s long haul flights and avoids often lengthy arrivals processing queues.
US destinations offered by Aer Lingus from Dublin include New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto.
The carrier also has a “codesharing” agreement with US airlines JetBlue and United Airlines, enabling onward connectivity to more than 100 destinations across North America.
The airline will offer an 8.40am flight from LJLA timed to enable convenient transfer times for passengers at Dublin Airport of as little as 75 minutes.
One-way fares to Dublin, including taxes and charges, will start from £19.99 with one-way US destination fares ranging from £229 to £299 and go on sale at aerlingus.com from today.
The news comes just weeks after LJLA announced a new Flybe route to Amsterdam which also opens up a network of global routes to passengers flying from Liverpool.
Airport chief executive, Andrew Cornish, said: “This latest route announcement for the Airport is a clear demonstration of our commitment to bring more routes, more airlines and more choice for the region’s travellers.
“This route will enhance the airport’s reputation as a convenient hassle free alternative for business travellers in particular, looking to do business both in Dublin or onward to the US.”
Aer Lingus has historical links with the LJLA and was one of the first airlines to operate from Liverpool almost 80 years ago, having first established air links with the Irish capital in 1936.
Aer Lingus chief revenue officer, Mike Rutter, added “The historic connections between the two cities makes Dublin-Liverpool the perfect choice for Aer Lingus’s first major expansion in short haul services for a decade.
“Aer Lingus understands how important global connectivity is to the economy of a region, and with the fast access we can provide to more than 100 US and Canadian cities, we hope this can help power the economy of Merseyside.”
Merseyside’s business leaders are also delighted with the announcement. They believe it will enhance the city region’s attractiveness to inward investors.
Chris Brown, director of Marketing Liverpool, said: “We are keen to capitalise on the city’s American links to bring even more visitors from the US to Liverpool, so having a seamless connection is a big development.
“Growing our share of the international visitor and investment market is a key objective so this new route will significantly assist us.”
And Jenny Stewart, chief executive of Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce, said: “This is another excellent link for LJLA to establish and will greatly increase our connectivity to global destinations. It will be a tremendous boost for local exporters seeking to do business with and in new markets.”