Dublin Airport will have direct scheduled flights to Canada this winter for the first time. Canada has long been a seasonal market from Dublin, but this winter the airport will boast two new year-round scheduled services to Toronto. Irish carrier Aer Lingus will operate Dublin-Toronto up to four times per week while Air Canada’s leisure brand Air Canada rouge will fly three times per week between the two cities.
Dublin Airport is currently enjoying a boom in Canadian traffic with passenger numbers on flights to Canada up by more than 80% so far this year. “The Canadian market has been hugely positive for us this year, with new route launches and additional capacity,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “Despite the significant increase in overall capacity from Dublin to Canada this year overall load factors have been strong,” Harrison added.
Speaking to The HUB at World Routes 2014 Harrison said the fundamentals of the Canadian-Irish market are solid, as there are strong business and historic cultural links between two countries. “More than 60 Irish companies are based in Canada, about 80 Canadian companies are located in Ireland and Ireland is the fifth largest recipient of Canadian investment overseas.”
Dublin was the first year-round long haul destination launched by Air Canada Rouge, and was announced to the market before the airline began operations in July 2013. Air Canada had operated a season Dublin-Toronto service from 2002 until this year, when Air Canada Rouge took over the route and transformed it into a year-round service. Aer Lingus launched its new Dublin Toronto service in April and is operating the route daily in the summer with up to four flights per week in the winter
On top of the new Aer Lingus route and the Air Canada rouge expansion, Dublin Airport also welcomed Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet’s first ever transatlantic service this year. WestJet launched its Dublin-St John’s Newfoundland service on June 16 and has described the route as one of its most successful ever launches.
WestJet President and Chief Executive Gregg Saretsky, has said previously that 85% of the available seats on the service were sold within the first 24 hours. The airline is operating the Dublin route, which has a journey time of just four hours 15 minutes, with a narrow bodied Boeing 737.