Aer Lingus UK finally secured its operating certificate from British authorities, paving the way for the carrier to launch its operations from Manchester to the US and Caribbean islands later this year. The carrier must still await approval to sell tickets originating in the US, but that should be quickly forthcoming.
Aer Lingus announced Orlando, Barbados, New York City, and Boston as its initial markets. All are relatively short flights and can operate with a single aircraft out and back each day. But if the company wants to fly much further afield that will not be possible given the current operating certificate.
Fine print on the UK license specifies the region the company can operate in. The coordinates listed limit the company to the US eastern seaboard and the Caribbean. Most major cities of South America is out of range. Chicago could (barely) work but anything west of the Mississippi is outside the box. Even though the A330s being moved to the UK fleet have the range, the current certificate will not permit longer flights to California.
Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise for the carrier. The shorter reduce operating costs and could prevent the new carrier from over-extending as Thomas Cook did before its collapse. Those are, in many ways, the very same customers these planes are meant to carry.
The first three aircraft – a pair of A330-300s and one A321neo – are slated to transfer to the UK registry and operate the initial planned routes. More aircraft could move over if demand dictates. But, for now, those trips won’t be extra long, and the carrier doesn’t seem to mind that at all.
More on Aer Lingus UK's path to operations:
- Aer Lingus adds Manchester base for Summer 2021
- Aer Lingus Launches UK subsidiary, applies for US route authorities
- Aer Lingus launches TATL routes from Manchester
- Aer Lingus delays Manchester-US service launch
- Aer Lingus UK gains operating certificate, with a limited range
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