Next stop Nevada?: Vegas & Dallas being considered by Aer Lingus

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  • Aer Lingus has spoken to 30 cities in US and Canada
  • Las Vegas ‘very high on our list’ says CEO Stephen Kavanagh
  • Airline wants to double  share of the transatlantic market 

Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said the airline has been in talks with dozens of North American cities as it aims to double its transatlantic market share.

Speaking at the launch of new routes to Minneapolis/St Paul and the launch of an EY report calling for Dublin to become a major global hub, he said: “Las Vegas is very high on the list of under-served destinations between Ireland and the US, as is Dallas, as is Denver, as is Cleveland, as is Pittsburgh, as is Detroit, as is Halifax.”

Speaking of the deal to buy long-range Airbus A321neos, he added: “We haven’t made a multi-million investment case to IAG without some concrete plans and without some clear vision as to where these aircraft are going to be deployed.

Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh at the launch of the airline's new routes to Minneapolis/St Paul and Montreal, Conrad Hotel, Dublin, September 12, 2018

Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh at the launch of the airline’s new routes to Minneapolis/St Paul and Montreal, Conrad Hotel, Dublin, 

“We have quite a significant invetment in aircraft. Each of those incremental aircraft will provide the opportunity not just to build out services to the existing 15 operations, but new development.”

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On the talks with American cities, he added: “What we are doing is collaboratively with stakeholders in all of the destinations. It is very much very helpful if the demand that we rely upon to prosecute our business model is evidenced by support from day one. We have canvassed upwards of 30 airports in metropolitan areas in America and Canada and we will consider all of those responses. We will work over the next number of months and it is our ambition that we will have an equivalent function [route launch]this time next year announcing more.”

The two new routes were launched in conjunction with an Aer Lingus-commissioned report by EY calling for Dublin to become a global hub, and match his airline’s growth ambitions.

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“We don’t yet have a constraint on what we see as the opportunity. Assuming that the hub infrastructure is delivered, then we take an unconstrained view. We currently carry about 3pc of the total traffic flows between Europe and North America. It is not overly ambitious to think we can go from 3pc to five or six or seven.”

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