Holidaymakers are not quite partying like it’s 2019… but they’re getting close.
Demand for European sun destinations is at an all-time high post-pandemic,” as Susanne Carberry, Aer Lingus’s Chief Customer Officer, said just before Christmas.
January has seen the momentum continue, with tour operators reporting strong interest and airline sales in full swing despite cost-of-living concerns.
Ryanair has launched some of its biggest ever schedules out of Ireland, Aer Lingus is planning its largest transatlantic programme in 2023, and Dublin Airport clocked its busiest day of last year over the Christmas period.
Airlines split their schedules into summer and winter rosters – summer services typically run from late March to late October, though different routes can begin and end at different times.
Here’s just a selection of the new flights from Dublin Airport, Cork, Shannon and Ireland West for 2023.
More than 25.8 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in the first 11 months of 2022, with some 180 routes available. It says almost all passengers are now getting through security in 30 minutes or less.
This year, Aer Lingus is adding three new summer routes from Dublin Airport – to Kos in Greece, Olbia in Sardinia and Brindisi in Puglia, Italy.
2023 will also see the airline’s largest-ever transatlantic schedule, with 15 services including a new route to Cleveland, Ohio (from May) and the return of Hartford, Connecticut (from March 26).
Other schedule boosts will see routes to Boston, New York JFK, Chicago and Washington DC operate double-daily during the peak summer season.
Aer Lingus’s Dublin Airport to Seattle flight will become daily this year, Orlando moves to five times weekly and a larger Airbus A330 will operate the LA service.
In other route news, Norway’s Widerøe will fly from Dublin to Bergen from April 27, and El Al is planning a new service to Tel Aviv in Israel from March 26.
Ryanair is also adding routes from Dublin to Kos and Brindisi, as well as Trieste in Italy and Cluj and Iasi in Romania.
Other airlines have increased frequencies from Dublin – Emirates, for example, is back flying double-daily to Dubai.
Cork Airport saw 45 routes and 2.4m passengers last year – a return to 86pc of its 2019 figures. Its passenger experience rates highly, too.
“96.8pc of passengers cleared security screening in Cork Airport in less than 15 minutes over the year,” it says.
Ryanair is running its biggest ever summer schedule from Cork, with five new services to La Rochelle, Rome, Seville, Venice Treviso and East Midlands.
It will also increase weekly frequencies on several routes, including Alicante, Faro, Liverpool and Palma.
Aer Lingus says it is increasing its peak summer capacity to Malaga and Faro from both Cork and Dublin – flights from Cork to Faro in Portugal’s Algarve will double to six per week.
Shannon has also seen a bounce-back post-pandemic, and will offer 32 routes this summer (27 of them by Ryanair).
Ryanair’s summer schedule is its largest from Shannon Airport, adding new routes to Naples, Porto, Beziers and Newcastle – a 35pc growth in capacity over 2022.
It has also announced a new 2023 summer service from Shannon to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport.
Transatlantic services are returning to Shannon (similar to Dublin Airport, it offers US Preclearance), with a daily service from Shannon to Chicago to be operated by United Airlines from May 26.
That comes in addition to United’s daily service between Shannon and Newark, which returns from April 8.
Ireland West (Knock)
Last year, Ireland West’s numbers recovered to 89pc of its record 2019 level of 807,000 passengers. Its average time through security is just four to six minutes.
In 2023, Ryanair will operate its largest-ever schedule from the Knock airport, with 16 routes including a new summer service to Lanzarote.
Last year also saw the addition of three new services to Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester with Ryanair, as well as the return of the popular Aer Lingus service to London Gatwick.
This year, Ryanair has increased frequencies on five UK routes, adding an extra 40,000+ seats on services to Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Liverpool and Manchester.
Ryanair will add four new flights from Belfast International next summer – to Budapest, Cardiff, Mallorca and Valencia.
The airline had said it would pull out of the airport in August 2021, but in 2022 confirmed it would be returning in summer 2023 with other new routes including Alicante, Faro, Barcelona-Girona, Malaga, Manchester, Milan-Bergamo, Stansted, Paris Beauvais, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gdansk and Krakow.
Kerry Airport runs direct flights to Alicante, Dublin, London, Frankfurt-Hahn, Faro and Manchester.
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