Aer Lingus is celebrating 80 years of flying having launched its first ever flight from Baldonnel to Bristol in May 1936.
To recognise this incredible milestone, Aer Lingus has flown the Iolar, a replica of the a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon which made that first journey with only five passengers, to Bristol once again, 80 years later.
While its first aircraft might only have had the capacity to accommodate six passengers, the national airline now boasts a fleet of 62 aircraft and connects 12 million people from Ireland and across the world to more than 100 destinations throughout Europe and North America.
With ten direct services to North America, 2016 in particular, marks a standout year for transatlantic growth as Aer Lingus introduces three new direct routes to North America – Los Angeles, California which began on May 4th, Newark, New Jersey which will commence on September 1st and Hartford, Connecticut on September 28th.
Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said, “We are delighted to celebrate 80 years of flying at Aer Lingus.
“This year has been a very exciting year for Aer Lingus so far – we recently commenced our new Los Angeles service and in September our Newark, New Jersey and Hartford, Connecticut services will commence.
“These new routes open up new tourism and business opportunities with improved connectivity through our Dublin Gateway.
“We are proud of our 80 year history of connecting Ireland to the world and will continue to fly the shamrock high for the next 80 years.”
Aer Lingus operates daily flights from across the UK regions and 18 flights from London alone direct to the airlines hub Dublin Airport.
Thanks to seamless same terminal connections and US Immigration and Customs Pre-clearance at Dublin Airport passengers can quickly and conveniently cross the Atlantic and start maximising their time in the US from the moment they land.
In its inaugural year, back in 1936, Aer Lingus operated three routes, carrying 892 passengers and employed a total of 12 staff.
In 2016, its 80th year of service, the airline carries 12 million passengers, flies 117 routes and provides employment to 4,000 staff.