CLEVELAND — Starting in May, Clevelanders will once again be able to take a direct flight to Europe.
Aer Lingus will be offering nonstop flights to Dublin, Ireland. It will be the first time that Cleveland Hopkins International Airport has featured direct routes to Europe since WOW ended service from CLE to Iceland in October of 2018.
Paula Svadlena, Aer Lingus regional service manager, says Cleveland Hopkins was next on its bucket list. "It is the perfect aircraft: 16 business class, plus168 economy seats and it has the range and the fuel efficiency to provide the people of Cleveland and make Cleveland for us the perfect destination."
Beginning on May 19, travelers from Cleveland can connect from Dublin to more than 20 European destinations, like London, Paris, and Amsterdam.
"If they just want to stop in Dublin, we allow them to do that for as long as they want at no additional charge," Svadlena adds.
The year-round service between Cleveland and Dublin will route four times per week, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. The total flight time? About seven to eight hours, nonstop.
"The secret sauce for Aer Lingus is you pre-clear out U.S. Customs and Immigration in Dublin for your return, you arrive back in Cleveland as a domestic passenger," says Svadlena.
Aer Lingus wasn't the only one with Cleveland in mind. Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler says from a business standpoint, with Aer Lingus flying in and Cleveland, more European businesses will have access to Northeast Ohio.
"The most underserved market was access to Europe, we have a number of companies headquartered here who have operations there," Koehler explains. "And a number of companies here whose headquarters are there. The more those companies here feel they have access to the markets they're trying to serve, the more they're going to invest here and vice versa."
Cleveland becomes Aer Lingus' 15th gateway into North America, joining other major cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, and Toronto.
Tickets are already on sale with one-way flights starting anywhere from $400 to $600. Check Aer Lingus' website for a discount that will be available until March 21.