Aer Lingus has confirmed that direct flights to San Francisco, California, will resume in April 2014, as well as the addition of a new route serving Toronto, Ontario.
The Dublin to San Francisco route will be available year-round, with five services per week. There will also be daily flights to Toronto during the peak summer period and four times per week in the winter.
Noting the importance of this link to Silicon Valley for Ireland’s development as a tech hub in Europe, Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller believes the expansion will have a positive impact on the Irish economy.
IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary is happy with the news, citing the importance of this direct air access to Silicon Valley in attracting businesses to Ireland. “Approximately 40pc of the foreign direct investment to Ireland from the US comes from the Silicon Valley area,” he said. “This route will strengthen the links between Silicon Valley and Ireland’s own cluster of tech companies in Dublin.”
Major tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, have their EMEA headquarters in Dublin while their international HQs are in the San Francisco area. Earlier this year, Aer Lingus dismissed rumours that it would reopen direct flights to San Francisco, but reports this week claimed the airline had been persuaded otherwise by these key tech players, as well as the Irish Government and industry groups.
Transport Minister Leo Varadkar also welcomed the announcement. “This Government has always sought to improve air access to key tourism and business markets, such as the US and Canada,” he said. “The return of the direct air service to the US west coast is particularly important and I’m very happy to see the route being filled by an Irish airline.”
Aer Lingus also plans to increase the frequency of routes to America’s east coast, adding connections from Shannon to Boston and New York.
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