Aer Lingus resumes flights from Bristol to Dublin

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Irish airline Aer Lingus has restarted flights to and from Bristol to Dublin airport.

The carrier resumed the route on Sunday (August 1) and will be flying five days a week – on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday – using an Airbus A320 aircraft, seating 174 customers.

Ireland reopened its doors for travel earlier this month and is the first country in Europe where fully vaccinated British citizens can visit without the need for any Covid-19 tests into or out of the country.

There will also be no requirement to self-isolate if fully vaccinated, according to the airline.

Peter O’Neill, Aer Lingus chief operations officer, said: “We are delighted to recommence flights from Bristol and welcome back our British customers on board now that travel restrictions have been relaxed, reconnecting friends and families that have been kept apart for too long.

“We are looking forward to serving our customers once again and providing them with a warm Aer Lingus welcome from airports across the UK.”

Dave Lees, Bristol Airport chief executive said the news was “particularly exciting” as the flight time will mean travellers are able to connect on Aer Lingus’ US long-haul routes to Boston, Chicago, New York (JFK) and Washington once the travel ban is lifted.

Passengers will be able to to pre-clear US immigration and customs in Dublin before their transatlantic flight too.

“This means they can arrive as domestic customers on arrival in America, saving time and frustration as all the necessary processes have already been completed,” said Mr Lees.

“This is another demonstration of confidence in the region and the opening up of long-haul international travel when the time is right. We look forward to working with Aer Lingus on future opportunities.”

On arrival in Ireland, all British visitors will need to show proof of full vaccination, such as their NHS App Covid Pass, a vaccination status letter or their NHS vaccine paper card.

Customers without proof of vaccination will need to show evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arriving and quarantine for 14 days or a minimum of five days if they prove negative with a second PCR test, provided by the Health Service Executive in Ireland on day five.

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Children under the age of 12 travelling with vaccinated parents or guardians will not need to take a PCR test prior to travelling to Ireland. But children aged 12 to 17, who are not fully vaccinated, will need to show a negative PCR test result on arrival in Ireland, even when travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.

Earlier this year, Aer Lingus introduced a range of new safety measures in line with the guidance provided by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control).

Measures include:

the mandatory wearing of face masks at all times by all customers and crew; and social distancing at check in, boarding gates, during boarding and disembarking the aircraft.

Aer Lingus is currently operating flights from Dublin to Boston, Chicago and New York (JFK) with Washington restarting on August, 13, this year.

In May, Mr Lees said Bristol Airport was planning to relaunch a direct flight to New York in the next three-to-five years.

In an exclusive interview with BusinessLive, the boss of the transport hub said having a direct flight from the city to the ‘Big Apple’ was on his “target list”.

The airport ran a direct flight to New York’s Newark Liberty Airport between 2005 and November 2010. The route was operated by Continental Airlines.

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Hannah BakerSouth West Business Editor