Aer Lingus Has Sold Out Of North America Tickets On Monday

As the United States prepares to reopen its borders on Monday, the Irish national flag carrier is reporting that it has sold every seat on flights to the United States for November 8, 2021. After the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, the government closed its borders to all but essential travel, effectively stopping all entry into the United States for non-citizens or permanent residents.

Aer Lingus has sold all of its tickets for Monday flights to the USA. Photo: Aer Lingus

After 19 months of isolation, it will reopen its land, sea, and air borders to people who can prove they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO). The approved vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and its Indian-made counterpart, Covishield. The US will also accept any combination of these vaccines, such as AstraZeneca and Moderna. Children under 18 years of age will be exempt from the vaccination requirement.

A pent up demand for travel to the US

When speaking about selling out of transatlantic tickets for Monday, Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton said in a company statement carried by RTE:

“There are certainly people who are desperate to get flying again, and obviously, it won’t stay that way for the rest of the winter, but it does show that there was a pent-up demand.”
“Generally speaking, our bookings are tracking where we would like them – given the capacity we have restored,” she added.

Aer Lingus is hoping that the return of transatlantic flights will lead to profits. Photo: Aer Lingus

When commenting on the airline’s goals regarding transatlantic travel, Aer Lingus said that it would like to see things return to 90% of pre-pandemic levels before the summer. Ms. Embleton described this goal as ambitious, saying:

“We do want to get connectivity back up and running; we want to get our people working again, and we believe that the ambitious schedule for next year is the right one,” adding. “The announcement of the US reopening was very recent, so we need time to build back up passenger confidence and bookings. We are seeing some pockets of strong bookings in the fourth quarter, but we do still need time for the market to recognize that Ireland is open again and people are flying again.”

Aer Lingus should become profitable again next year

When speaking about how Aer Lingus had weathered the pandemic and its plan to recover, the airline’s owner, the International Airlines Group (IAG), said it was looking at a 3€ billion ($3.47 billion) loss for 2021. However, it did say that the return of transatlantic travel should see the Irish airline return to profits next year.

IAG, which also owns British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling, had a tough summer because of UK and Ireland market exposure. Both country’s complicated and expensive COVID-19 testing rules put many people off international summer travel.

IAG to push ahead with its plans

As IAG-owned airlines look to recover from the most significant challenge the industry has ever faced, CEO Luis Gallego said that they would push ahead with plans that include:

Short-haul flights from Gatwick that are designed to compete with LCC easyJet
Vueling’s massive expansion at Orly Airport in Paris
Aer Lingus flights operating from Manchester to the United States and the Carribean
The Groups new maintenance model in Barcelona

Aer Lingus is betting big on flights from Manchester. Photo; Aer Lingus

For Aer Lingus, the reopening of the United States to European visitors will be a massive boost for the airline. It should hopefully equate to a good summer for transatlantic travel.

What do you think about Aer Lingus selling out of tickets for Monday’s transatlantic flights? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments. 

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