Aer Lingus bids to operate flights between UK and USA with tickets on sale this week

Irish national airline Aer Lingus has set-up a new subsidiary so it can begin selling flights between the UK and the USA. The flag-carrier has applied to American aviation authorities so it can commence ticket sales on January 8 for planned transatlantic routes from Manchester airport. Flights would begin in the summer with destinations including Orlando, New York and Boston.

It would operate Airbus A330 and new A321LR jets which are set for delivery in the next few months. The UK subsidiary, which is registered in Belfast, formally applied to the US for a foreign carrier's permit allowing it to fly there from Britain in early December. It requested authorisation from the US Department of Transportation to "promote, advertise and sell" flights to passengers by close of business on Thursday with a view to making tickets available to buy on the following day.

Unions representing pilots said they had no objection to the plan.

Aer Lingus hopes to fill gaps in the market left by the demise of airline and travel agent Thomas Cook in September 2019, according to its application to the US department of transportation for a foreign carrier's permit.

The airline said: "Increased seat capacity between Manchester and Orlando International Airport would be most welcomed and beneficial to our community tourism recovery efforts."

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