Aer Lingus adds Denver, will challenge Delta on resuming Minneapolis route

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Aer Lingus is adding two new U.S. destinations, including one that may have caught the attention of Delta Air Lines.

Denver and Minneapolis-Saint Paul will become the latest pins on Aer Lingus’ route map next year, giving the Irish carrier a total of 15 destinations in the U.S. plus Toronto in Canada.

Aer Lingus will connect both cities to its main hub at Dublin Airport (DUB). Flights to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) begin April 29, while service from Denver International Airport (DEN) begins May 17.

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MSP is technically a resumption for Aer Lingus, which last flew from the airport in January 2020. When it resumes in April, Aer Lingus will be the only airline flying the route — but not for long.

Delta — which operates a busy hub at MSP — will begin its own nonstop service to Dublin on May 9, less than two weeks after Aer Lingus’ service begins. Delta’s Dublin service was announced just hours after Aer Lingus confirmed its plans to begin flying from MSP.

Delta touted its dominant position at MSP in a statement detailing its new Dublin flights.

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“Delta continues to build on its longstanding No. 1 position in Minneapolis with another nonstop option for customers traveling overseas,” Joe Esposito, Delta’s senior vice president of network planning, said in a statement.

As for Aer Lingus, the carrier also talked up its own strengths on both of its new routes, noting customers would be able to connect to 20 other European cities via its Dublin hub.

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“With Dublin’s geographic position as the gateway to Europe, pre-clearance facilities at the airport and the strong, long established Irish American ties, Aer Lingus is ideally placed to connect people and places across the Atlantic,” Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton said in a statement.

Unlike at MSP, Aer Lingus will be the only airline with nonstop service between Denver and Dublin.

Aer Lingus will fly both of its new routes with Airbus A330 wide-body jets, thought the MSP service will switch to its new Airbus A321XLR aircraft during the winter schedule of 2024-25. The A321XLR is the “extra long-range” variant of the plane that’s due to begin arriving to the carrier next year.

Delta will fly its MSP-Dublin flights with Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

The schedule details for all three of the new routes is below.

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Aer Lingus’ new Dublin service from Denver

  • Year-round service to Dublin begins May 17 with four flights a week.

Aer Lingus’ Dublin service from Minneapolis-Saint Paul

  • Year-round service to Dublin begins April 29 with four flights a week, increasing to daily service in October.

Delta’s new Dublin service from Minneapolis-Saint Paul

  • Seasonal service to Dublin begins May 9 with five flights a week.