Over the past 65 years, we’ve carried more than 43 million transatlantic customers. In the early days, we only flew to New York and Boston. However, that list has expanded to include 14 direct routes from Ireland.
In 2021, we started flying non-stop from Manchester to New York JFK, Orlando and Barbados, giving UK customers even more choice across the Atlantic.
Our fleet has changed dramatically since our first transatlantic flight. Back then, the Aerlínte Éireann Lockheed L1049 Super Constellation flew across the Atlantic. Now our fleet consists of Airbus A330 aircrafts, along with new A321LR planes playing an increasingly important role.
In 1958, we embarked on our inaugural flight from Dublin and Shannon to New York with 99 customers and a crew of six. That’s quite different from today’s busy flights, where we can carry as many as 317 customers on each transatlantic journey.
We were the 17th airline to begin scheduled services across the North Atlantic – quite a feat for the time. Before departing Irish shores, the airline held a celebratory banquet attended by then Taoiseach Éamon de Valera and Minister for Industry and Commerce Seán Lemass, the mayors of Dublin and New York and a large press contingent.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the momentous flight was also celebrated. The plane touched down to a salute from the 165th Infantry of the New York National Guard.
Early flights were populated mostly by those emigrating from Ireland. We carried close to 15,000 people to and from New York in our first year. With cruising altitude between 16,000 and 18,000 feet, the flights were much more susceptible to turbulence.
Flight time from Ireland to New York was approximately 14 hours outbound in those early days. Thankfully, the outbound flight duration of the ever-popular Dublin to JFK journey is now almost half that, coming in at 7 hours and 30 minutes.
Aer Lingus’ transatlantic offering today
Today, our Dublin Airport hub is the sixth largest transatlantic gateway in Europe. Unlike any other European capital, those travelling to North America from Dublin pre-clear U.S. Customs and Immigration before taking off. That makes for a speedy airport exit when they touchdown stateside.
With around a third of our customers connecting from the UK and Europe, more and more travellers are choosing to travel with us via Dublin for convenience, value and an overall excellent experience in the skies.
Book your next transatlantic flight at www.aerlingus.com