Aer Lingus’ inaugural service direct to Philadelphia took flight earlier from Dublin Airport.
Flight EI115 was operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft carrying the registration EI-LBS and named Saint Columbanus.
Philadelphia is the first of two new transatlantic routes to be launched by Aer Lingus for summer 2018.
Operating in its initial phase four times weekly, the Dublin-Philadelphia service will increase to daily from May 18th.
The latest route expansion comes on the back of IAG investment in new aircraft, with Aer Lingus launching five new direct services the last 24 months - Los Angeles, Newark, Hartford, Miami and now Philadelphia.
In May Aer Lingus will begin Ireland’s first direct service to Seattle which will be airline’s 15th direct route out of Ireland to North America.
Philadelphia is the ninth most visited city in the United States welcoming over 30 million domestic and international visitors annually.
Those planning a visit to ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ will be spoiled for things see and do from visiting the famously cracked Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to taking in the many murals the city walls have on offer and of course, sampling the local delicacy – a Philly Cheese Steak!
Summer 2018 will mark Aer Lingus’ largest ever long-haul programme boasting 2.75 million seats across the Atlantic.
Together with two brand new routes, additional transatlantic expansion includes a daily service to both San Francisco and Los Angeles on the US West Coast as well as twice daily flights to Chicago.
Marking Aer Lingus’ new service to Philadelphia, Mike Rutter, chief operating officer with the carrier, said: “We are delighted to commence our brand-new service to Philadelphia which marks the beginning of our summer 2018 programme.
“We remain focused on growing our transatlantic network and further strengthening our Dublin base as a leading gateway to North America.
“Aer Lingus’ transatlantic offering not only leads the way in our home market but our connecting options via Dublin also continue to gain pace in the UK and Europe as the smartest route to North America.”