Mon, 28 Nov 2022

DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland's Aer Lingus has announced that it will open direct air links between the U.S. city of Cleveland and Ireland, beginning in 2023.

This will be Aer Lingus' 15th transAtlantic route. For Cleveland, this will become the city's only direct link to Europe.

Plans call for flights from Dublin to Cleveland's Hopkins International to begin on May 19, 2023, operating four times per week.

"This is a significant announcement for Aer Lingus, as we deliver on our ambition to grow our transatlantic network," Aer Lingus chief strategy and planning officer Reid Moody said, as quoted by routesonline.com.

Of note, Cleveland passengers flying into Dublin can connect to 20 cities on Aer Lingus' network in Europe.

Cleveland currently has no direct flights to Europe. Though in 2018 Icelandair and the now-closed WOW Air offered flights from Reykjavik Keflavik to Cleveland.

Until 2008, Continental flew the London to Cleveland route.

Sabre Market Intelligence reports that Dublin was the fourth largest Cleveland-Europe market in 2019, after London, Paris and Rome.

In 2019, 14,340 round-trip passengers traveled between Cleveland and Dublin.

It has also been reported that Aer Lingus has been offered nearly $3 million in incentives to open the Cleveland route. Grants are expected from Jobs Ohio, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Team NEO, and Destination Cleveland.

In announcing the new direct flights to Dublin, Ohio lieutenant governor Jon A. Husted said, "With connections to 103 destinations in 20 countries, Dublin Airport allows businesses and leisure travelers from the Greater Cleveland area and northeast Ohio region to reach transatlantic destinations with greater ease and fewer stops along the journey.

"The initial projections are that this will have an $85 million economic impact during the first three years of the commitment."

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