Aer Lingus Adding Flights To Minneapolis & Montreal

Aer Lingus has been growing their US route network significantly the past several years, in a steady but consistent way:

We’ll see significant transatlantic expansion from Aer Lingus over the coming years as they take delivery of A321LR aircraft. The airline has said that 2019 will be their biggest year ever in terms of transatlantic expansion.

The airline has now announced two new transatlantic routes, one of which will be operated by an A321LR. Aer Lingus will begin flying to both Minneapolis and Montreal in 2019.

Aer Lingus flying to Minneapolis

Aer Lingus has announced that they’ll launch 5x weekly Boeing 757 flights between Dublin and Minneapolis as of July 8, 2019.

This flight will be operated with the following schedule on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays:

EI89 Dublin to Minneapolis departing 2:10PM arriving 4:55PM
EI88 Minneapolis to Dublin departing 7:00PM arriving 8:40AM (+1 day)

Minneapolis is an interesting choice because it’s a Delta hub, yet Aer Lingus doesn’t have a partnership with Delta. Furthermore, Delta doesn’t even operate a nonstop flight between the two airports, so at least Aer Lingus won’t have any competition.

Aer Lingus flying to Montreal

Aer Lingus has announced that they’ll launch daily Airbus A321LR flights between Dublin and Montreal as of August 8, 2019.

This flight will be operated with the following schedule:

EI99 Dublin to Montreal departing 6:50PM arriving 8:50PM
EI98 Montreal to Dublin departing 10:20PM arriving 9:40AM (+1 day)

Since this is the first route scheduled to be operated by the A321LR, it’s also our first look at the seatmap for the plane. It looks like Aer Lingus will be maintaining the same staggered business class configuration they have on the A330 and 757 for this aircraft, which is great news.

The airline will be competing head-on with Air Canada here, which also operates flights between the two cities.

How you’ll be able to redeem miles for these flights

While I don’t see any award availability loaded for these flights yet (I imagine it will be shortly), there will be two best ways to redeem miles on these flights:

  • You can redeem United MileagePlus miles, at the cost of 32,500 miles one-way in economy, or 70,000 miles one-way in business class; you can include connecting flights on both ends, including on Star Alliance airlines
  • You can redeem Avios (British Airways Avios are the easiest), and the costs vary based on whether you’re traveling peak or off-peak — the routes should cost 13,000-20,000 Avios one-way in economy, or 50,000-60,000 Avios one-way in business class (in theory the Montreal route could be cheaper since it’s just under 3,000 miles one-way, but they seem to move these types of flights into a higher distance “band”)

Bottom line

I love seeing Aer Lingus expand, as they offer a solid product, and Dublin is a great gateway to Europe.

Montreal in particular seems like a logical choice. I’m sure they’ve done their research and Minneapolis makes sense (Aer Lingus is very conservative about their growth), but if you had asked me a week ago where I thought Aer Lingus would expand to, Minneapolis wouldn’t have been one of my top five guesses.

Congrats to Aer Lingus for scheduling their first A321LR flight, and I can’t wait to check out the plane!

What do you make of Aer Lingus’ new transatlantic routes, and which would you like to see next?

Comments

  1. Oh (canada) I do hope that AerLingus keeps Montreal-Dublin under the 3000mile band. 75k avios roundtrip for business lie-flat to Europe would be a dream come true!

  2. @ carswell — Economy is in a 3-3 configuration, like every single A321 in the world. It’s not like a seatmap reveals pitch or anything else. What am I missing?

  3. I am based at MSP and you would be surprised how many people fly to or connect through here from/to Europe. I fly Delta to AMS or LHR at least once a month and the planes are always full. Not sure how comfortable will be to fly on a 757 across the pond for almost 9 hours.

  4. They will rely entirely on OD traffic as if you want to fly elsewhere it would be Air France klm delta & Virgin So they’ve got their work cut out. You would not fly see Lingus to MSP and onward on delta as there won’t be any low fare combinations as delta & partners won’t want to combine their fares with Aer Lingus. Plus the city is a Sky Miles fortress
    Cities like Los Angeles are different as they have a huge population and vast number of airlines and routes

  5. Fantastic news! Too bad not in time for my son’s HS band’s trip to Ireland next spring 🙁

    You’ll be surprised how much traffic MSP-Europe has – Mpls/St. Paul has the 7th highest per capital income among the metro areas in the US. DL/AF/KL’s flights (AMS/CDG/LHR/KEF) across the pond have been doing very well as Santastico mentioned. And I heard Icelandair (up to 2x daily in the summer) and Condor (seasonal to FRA) are doing not shabby as well.

    Now if only we can get BA or LH here…

  6. No onward connections at MSP, but Dub-hub can pull feed from secondary EU cities. Also lots of Irish roots in St.Paul, not to mention that Twin Cities and Ireland are 2 of the largest hubs for the Medical Device industry, so there will also be some business travel. Wonder if DL will respond ?

  7. @Sean@MSP/@Tom: I would say MSP is one of the most underrated airports in the US. I cannot find an easier airport to go through immigration and then connect to other flights than MSP. I fly from Europe once a month into MSP. By the time the plane lands it takes no longer than 5 minutes to be at the gate which is a 2 minute walk to immigration which is always empty. Bags arrive very fast so from landing to be out on the terminal or going home is about 15 minutes max. Also, we are in the middle of the country so flying West or South from here is very easy. Biggest problem I find flying out of MSP to Europe is that Delta charges an arm and a leg. My company pays my Delta One flights but I struggle when I see invoices for almost $10k. Thus, competition is more than welcome. Would love to see more non Skyteam airlines flying out from here but problem would be very limited connections on StarAlliance or OneWorld from here since Delta basically owns this airport.

  8. Air Transat also operated this route from Montreal to Dublin until this summer. Once AC announced, they backed off. Let’s see if Aer Lingus can bring the fight to Air Canada.

  9. Well it’s nice to see a real business class product for TATL traffic, especially from Montreal, on this route. I was very disappointed Air Canada didn’t envision lie-flat seats in the MAX8. Hopefully this will encourage AC to have different configurations on future MAX8/MAX9 aircraft to offer lie flat business on narrow-bodies to Europe, to compete on this route and others.

    I wouldn’t fly AC to DUB, but maybe Aer Lingus to DUB and connect onwards…
    AC does however have the BEST premium economy on the MAX8 – leg room for days!

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