Aer Lingus has been given approval to be part of IAG’s joint transatlantic venture that should see more flight options from the UK to the US via Dublin.
The Irish carrier has been given permission to be part of the IAG/American Airlines joint venture by US authorities after a two-year wait.
In granting permission, the US Department of Transportation said Aer Lingus “carries only 3% of travellers between the US and Europe” and did not pose a threat to competition.
In its DoT submission, Aer Lingus said the JV “will generate an additional $67 million in incremental consumer benefits annually through increased connectivity, including 72 new unique codeshare destinations”.
Permission may see Aer Lingus align its services with American Airlines and offer connections throughout Europe and North America on each other’s flights. Pre-Covid, American offered a Philadelphia-Dublin flight and seasonal services to New York and Chicago.
The DoT said Aer Lingus had a 44% market share of the Ireland-US market, which would rise to just less than 60% with the proposed joint venture.
The DoT said this had “potential competitive implications”, but said rivals including Norwegian had shown “an aggressive ability to challenge” and that new narrow-body aircraft would encourage more competition.