Aer Lingus Adds San Francisco and Toronto in Trans-Atlantic Push

Aer Lingus Group Plc will add flights to San Francisco and Toronto from next year as Ireland’s national carrier seeks to grab a bigger slice of a lucrative trans-Atlantic market in which it was once a major player.

Five weekly services between Dublin and San Francisco will begin in March using Airbus SAS A330-200 wide-body jets, while a single-aisle Boeing Co. 757 will fly daily to Canada’s largest city starting next summer and four times weekly in the winter.

Two more 757s out of three leased from ASL Aviation Group will be based in Shannon in western Ireland and used to almost double frequencies to Boston and New York. The narrow-body will permit year-round operation of routes currently viable only in the summer with the bigger A330, Aer Lingus said in a statement.

The additional services will increase the carrier’s trans-Atlantic capacity by 24 percent next year and mean it will be serving North America with 10 daily flights, Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller said in the release.

Aer Lingus first operated across the Atlantic in the 1950s, at a time when flights from the U.S. were compelled to stop at the western edge of Europe to refuel. Boeing 747 jumbos were added to the fleet to serve North America in the 1970s.