The Irish airline, Aer Lingus, is coming back to Bradley International Airport in March to bring transatlantic service back to Connecticut.
Aer Lingus will operate daily through October and acts as a gateway to 28 UK and European airports, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Prague.
The service is expected to operate annually on a seasonal basis until year-round demand is realized from the return of business travel.
“Bradley has a reputation as being an accessible, convenient airport that makes travel for people who live throughout the northeast easier, and I am excited that Aer Lingus is bringing its popular transatlantic service back to the airport,” Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday. “Bradley is a key economic driver for our state, and the more airlines and destinations that we can add from the airport, the more attractive Connecticut becomes to companies that are seeking to grow their own operations here. I am glad to welcome Aer Lingus back to Connecticut.”
Aer Lingus Chief Executive Lynne Embelton said the airline is forging ahead with its North American expansion plan to its Dubin hub.
Back in 2016, the airline received $4.5 million from the state in order to “backstop against losses.” That means if the airline and the state would settle on a break-even point for the flight and Connecticut would make up the difference if there was any revenue shortfall.
The service was performing well and reaching growth milestones until, after nearly four successful years and thousands of passengers served, it was interrupted in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of Economic and Community Development said the airline has received nearly $12 million in grants to date. With the service restarting, DECD is providing up to a $1.36 million revenue guarantee over a two-year period, where the state would provide a grant only if total revenue falls short of a pre-determined target.
“The restart of the daily flight into Bradley International Airport is the only direct service to Europe, reflecting Aer Lingus’ ability to connect North American customers with Europe,” Embleton said.
The Connecticut Airport Authority Board Chair Tony Sheridan said they were “thrilled” about the major milestone.
Individuals traveling with Aer Lingus will also benefit from the added convenience of Dublin Airport, which offers U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance. This means that Bradley International Airport-bound passengers will be able to complete all necessary requirements in Dublin ahead of their departure.
Tickets for the new service are available to purchase today, with roundtrips to Ireland starting from $459 and to Europe from $659 including taxes and charges. For up-to-date information on flight schedules and fares, visit aerlingus.com.