Could Aer Lingus fly transatlantically out of Cork?
Aer Lingus’s Executive Officer, Sean Doyle, announced that Aer Lingus is considering starting transatlantic flights out of Cork. These would be flown using Aer Lingus’s A321 NEOs/LRs/XLRs starting in 2022. Cork is on the Southwest Coast of Ireland placing it under 7 hours from New York (5 Hours West to East) and only 6 and a half hours from Boston (Under 5 hours West to East).
COULD IT WORK?
Aer Lingus currently flies to Boston and New York-JFK out of Shannon and have shown that it is possible to fly these “Long and Skinny” routes and considering Cork, Ireland’s 2nd biggest city has a population greater than 200,000 more than that of Shannon, there may be a surprisingly large market for Cork. Aer Lingus has put off flights like this in the past thinking that they would not be able to fill their A330s, but the A321s would offer a capacity that would be reasonable for these flights. I could see Aer Lingus operating flights to major East Coast hubs like Washington, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston but there are a couple of problems…
THE ISSUE WITH CORK
Cork is currently not set up to handle connecting to flights to most of Europe. While there are flights to major European cities like Zürich, Paris and Madrid, these are only seasonal which would mean that flights out of Cork to the U.S. would probably have to be seasonal until there is proven demand for a flight year-round. On the flip side, Norwegian started flights from Cork to Providence, RI in 2018 and it was profitable enough for the route to continue, they were forced to cancel the route with the groundings of the 737 MAX.
WHAT WOULD THIS CAUSE IN THE FUTURE?
If Aer Lingus follows through with flights to the U.S. and these routes prove profitable, I can see United operating seasonal flights to Cork out of Washington Dulles with their Airbus A321XLRs or 757s. I can also see American operating flights to Cork out of their transatlantic hub, Philadelphia, seasonally with their 757s or possibly even their A321NEOs If they decide to actually put life vests on board ;) like they already do with their seasonal 757 flight from Philly to Shannon
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
I personally don’t see any of this happening, at least for another 3-5 years but I’d like to see Aer Lingus try and prove me wrong.
Please let me know your thoughts, and if you have any tips for me please let me know, I never post like this in #real-world-aviation so if I should improve on something tell me!