With the EU Commission likely to block Ryanair’s attempted takeover of Aer Lingus on competition grounds, Ireland’s national airline is making some moves of its own. Aer Lingus has had a codeshare agreement with JetBlue at New York’s JFK and Boston’s Logan Airport since 2008. That partnership is now being expanded, say officials.
Flights operated by JetBlue and featuring an Aer Lingus’s “EI” flight number will soon be available for sale on the Aer Lingus website, and through travel agents and online travel agencies, connecting the Irish carrier’s transatlantic flights with 29 JetBlue destinations in North America including Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas-Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, subject to receipt of government approval.
Through the JetBlue-Aer Lingus partnership, customers can enjoy the convenience of booking a single ticket that includes flights operated by both carriers, with benefits including one-stop check-in and baggage transfer to dozens of destinations throughout the United States.
“We are pleased to expand our successful relationship with Aer Lingus with this new codeshare agreement, providing customers more access to both networks,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Aer Lingus was our first international airline partner; we’re thrilled with the strength of and growth in our partnership and happy to welcome them in our home at Terminal 5.”
Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Commercial Officer at Aer Lingus added, “We are delighted to expand our relationship with JetBlue, as we enter into our fifth year of partnership. Aer Lingus and JetBlue share the same customer focused ethos and passion for innovation and best-in-class service. We’ve had fantastic feedback from customers to the high level of convenience and choice of destinations. With the new code-share agreement coupled with increased frequencies on our US routes, we look forward to providing customers with more choice and a seamless travel experience.”
The start of the new code-share arrangement coincides with the move of Aer Lingus’ New York flight operations from Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport into JetBlue’s acclaimed Terminal 5. Aer Lingus customers connecting to one of JetBlue’s many destinations across the U.S. will benefit from same terminal connections, one-stop ticketing and baggage check-in for travel on both airlines, from the U.S. to Europe.
With the move to Terminal 5, scheduled for April 3, 2013, the minimum connection time from European arrivals to US departures will be reduced to just about 60 minutes. Customers travelling to Ireland will enjoy connections as fast as 40 minutes.