The government of Ireland will sell its 25% stake in Aer Lingus to IAG, parent of British Airways, allowing BA to take control of the airline. It’s unclear what Ryanair will do with its nearly 30% stake.
What we do know is that Aer Lingus will join the oneworld alliance, and continue to operate as a separate airline. IAG has provided assurances that Aer Lingus service to London will continue as-present for a minimum of 5 to 7 years (varying by route). They aren’t just being absorbed into BA, and they aren’t just being purchased for parts (slots at London Heathrow). Indeed, IAG says they’ll expand Aer Lingus transatlantic flying.
As I predicted in January, this acquisition will lead to Aer Lingus – already a British Airways partner – joining the oneworld alliance. That means you’ll be able to use American AAdvantage miles to fly Aer Lingus.
They fly from Boston and New York to Shannon, Ireland and they fly to Dublin from:
- New York
- San Francisco
And of course these flights allow for connections in Europe beyond Ireland. Dublin in particular is a great place to connect.
Aer Lingus files fares with very low fuel surcharges so even if AAdvantage somehow wound up adding fuel surcharges to Aer Lingus awards, it will be a non-issue.
And they have a new business class that seems similar to American’s new seat on their 767s.
Aer Lingus is a former member of oneworld — they left eight years ago to pursue a strategy as a low cost carrier. Since then they’ve built back their premium offerings. There’s no timetable yet announced for their return to the alliance, but it’s good news for flyers that they will return.