Ireland's national airline, primarily low-cost flights
Aer Lingus, Ireland's national airline, operates both low-cost flights to Europe and full service transatlantic routes. The country's second largest airline after Ryanair, Aer Lingus is also Ireland's oldest, celebrating 77 years of flight in 2013. Aer Lingus flies to 73 mainly European destinations, and offers 5 long-haul destinations in the USA.
Operating since 1936, the country's oldest airline
Established in 1936, Aer Lingus (its name means Air Fleet) began life offering flights from Dublin to Bristol, resuming its service after the war, and introducing more routes to the UK and Europe as time went on, such as to London and Liverpool Airports. The company operated its first transatlantic flight in 1958 from Shannon to New York. Aer Lingus purchased Boeing aircraft, using 737's for all its European flights and 747's for its transatlantic routes, and the company continued to use the brand of aircraft until the mid-1980's. In 1995, Aer Lingus phased out all their Boeing aircraft in favour of Airbus, and today its fleet consists of 48 Airbus aircraft, ranging from Airbus A320-200 and A320-300 to A350-900, with plans to extend its fleet further by 2014. Regional airports served by the airline include Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Knock, and UK airports include London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Jersey, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.
Both short-haul and long-haul services
Aer Lingus offers an extensive short-haul itinerary, and has adopted a no-frills service, which rivals Ryanair, where there is only one cabin class available and passengers pay for all extras on-board. The airline offers departures to Spain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Turkey, as well as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania and Lithuania. Popular holiday airports served by Aer Lingus include Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Faro, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Athens and Izmir, with city break destinations including Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna, Rome, Milan, Prague and Dubrovnik. Aer Lingus also features full-service long-haul flights with two classes, flying to Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Washington DC and New York, and has codeshare agreements with American Airlines, British Airways, JetBlue, KLM and United Airlines.