Ireland West Airport Knock today, Monday 6th April 2009, welcomed the return of Aer Lingus to the Airport following the commencement of its daily London Gatwick service on the first day of flights from the airline’s new international base in the London airport. The new flights will provide the West and North West region of Ireland with easy access to central London and the south east UK counties as well as interlining capabilities connecting business interests and tourism traffic in both directions to seven European destinations on the Aer Lingus network, including Malaga, Faro, Munich, Nice, Vienna, Zurich and Dublin. The new service increases the number of available seat connections to London via Ireland West Knock to over 1,200 seats per day this summer and is expected to generate an additional 100,000 passengers using the Airport annually.
Additional €12 million Annual Tourism Spend Injection to Western Economy
Aer Lingus today commenced its daily service to London Gatwick, the tenth busiest airport in the world, using an Airbus A320 aircraft configured to 174 seats. This new service will provide travellers into, and out of, the West and North West of Ireland with inward and onward connections available through London Gatwick Airport from 220 destinations globally. It is estimated that the region will benefit from an increase of around 35,000 tourists which is expected to inject almost €12 million in tourism spend and almost 200,000 bednights into the Western regional economy annually.
Welcoming Aer Lingus, Liam Scollan, Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock, said: “On behalf of the Airport team, I extend our welcome to Aer Lingus and wish it every success on the London Gatwick route. This new route alone will bring an additional 127,000 seats per annum connecting our region to the UK and it underlines the growing economic importance of the Airport to the wider region as our flight services are expected to support a substantial tourism spend of €70 million in 2009. The further significance of this new venture is that Aer Lingus now provides passengers from the region, and from around the globe, with the potential to interline to and from Ireland West Airport Knock with its code share partners which include British Airways, KLM Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines. This is a huge boost for all concerned and I encourage the tourism and business organisations and the public to rally behind this latest opportunity for the West."
Commenting at the inaugural flight event, Enda Corneille, Director of Corporate Affairs, Aer Lingus, said: “We are delighted to launch our new daily service between Ireland West Knock Airport and London Gatwick, on the first day of the opening of our new international base at Gatwick. This new service will provide a gateway from the West of Ireland to the UK and Europe with London Gatwick offering a wide range of international connections. The new route will drive growth in both inbound and outbound tourism and will support the many business links between the region and the greater London area. We look forward to extending our low fares and quality service offering to a whole new range of customers.”
London Gatwick (www.gatwickairport.com) is the busiest single runway airport in the world, the second largest airport in the UK and the seventh busiest international airport in the world. Around 90 airlines operate from Gatwick's two terminals, serving over 220 destinations. Owned by BAA, London Gatwick serves 32.5 million passengers annually with its future development strategy focusing on expanding as a single-runway, two-terminal airport, as it grows to handle around 40 million passengers a year by 2010/2011. Gatwick provides easy access to London Central and South London areas as well as to the southern counties of West and South Sussex. There are bus and rail links from Gatwick including the Gatwick Express www.gatwickexpress.com which takes passengers to London within 30 minutes. Gatwick serves a catchment of 12 million and also provides easy access to South Britain tourism attractions such as the vibrant City of Brighton and many other seaside resorts on the South Coast.
Introductory Fares from just €24.99!
Ireland West Knock – London Gatwick flight times depart from Gatwick at 13:05 arriving into Ireland West Knock at 14:40. Flights depart Ireland West Knock at 15:15, arriving into Gatwick at 16:50. For more information on fares and schedules and to book flights between London Gatwick and Ireland West Knock, log on to www.aerlingus.com or call Aer Lingus reservations at IRL: 0818 365000; N. IRL: 0870 8765000; or UK: 0870 8765000; or book through your local travel agent. Special introductory fares start from €24.99 one-way including taxes and charges!
*Note: Fares inclusive of taxes and charges, excluding Ireland West Airport Knock’s €10 Development Fee charged on departure to adults and children aged 12 years and older.
• Airport Growth: In 2008, the annual number of passengers using Ireland West Knock increased by over 73,000 passengers to 629,000 - an increase of 13% on 2007. The Airport currently provides 10 scheduled flight destinations to Ireland, the UK and Europe with airlines Aer Arann, Aer Lingus, bmibaby and Ryanair as well as providing additional charter flight operations with leading Irish Tour Operators to a further 11 holiday and pilgrimage destinations in Europe.
• Aer Lingus History at Ireland West Airport Knock
October 25th: First flights from Ireland West Airport Knock are three Aer Lingus Boeing jet aircraft (737s and a 707) flying to Rome. The first airline ticket produced at the Airport was an Aer Lingus ticket for passenger Monsignor James Horan.
Aer Lingus operates Dublin route.
1995 - 1999
Aer Lingus operates its regular Birmingham service.
• Airline Background: Aer Lingus was founded by the Irish Government in April 1936 to provide air services to/from Ireland. On October 2nd 2006, Aer Lingus entered a new phase in its history with the airline's floatation on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, becoming a publicly quoted company and realising €400 million in equity for the airline's future growth.
Aer Lingus' low-cost, low fares model is centred on maintaining low unit cost, offering one-way fares, maintaining effective fleet utilisation and developing the Aer Lingus brand.
• Code Shares: Aer Lingus code shares with American Airlines, British Airways and KLM. It is also partnered with New York-based airline JetBlue Airways. This partnership enables customers to book connecting flights between Ireland and over 25 US destinations via New York (JFK) in one transaction on aerlingus.com.
• Gold Circle Club: Gold Circle Membership provides access to exclusive airport lounges, special reservation services and other benefits, such as advanced seat preferences and dedicated check-in areas.
To view pictures from the Aer Lingus launch click here