Aer Lingus service at Bradley International Airport will continue for at least four more years under a new agreement made with the state committing the airline to continue its transatlantic service at the airport through September 2022.
Additionally, the Irish airline has committed to placing one of its first four A321neoLR aircraft on the Bradley-to-Dublin route. Aer Lingus said the new aircraft provides added comfort and efficiency.
Aer Lingus began service at Bradley in 2016, providing a direct route between Hartford and Dublin. Those flights provide access to multiple points in Europe and have seen continuous ridership increases year over year since the inaugural flight, according to the airline.
Under the original agreement, the Connecticut Economic and Community Development was to provide Aer Lingus up to a $4.5 million revenue guarantee at the Windsor Locks airport for the first two years if total revenue fell short of a predetermined target.
The new agreement calls for a reduced guarantee (limited to certain winter months) of not more than $3.8 million in the second year, dropping to not more than $3 million in the third year and not more than $2 million in the fourth, bringing the maximum four-year potential subsidy total to $13.3 million.
In return, Aer Lingus has already committed to operating the service in the fifth and sixth year of service with no subsidy from the state.
In addition to state support, in the first two years of the service, the Connecticut Airport Authority contributed to the success of the route with landing fee waivers and the availability of substantial marketing support.
“Bradley International Airport is a major economic driver for Connecticut, and it continues to be a key player in our efforts to grow our economy, boost tourism and improve our transportation system,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy. “Over the last several years, we have focused our efforts on utilizing this valuable resource to spark growth and increase our economic viability.
“The addition of Aer Lingus at Bradley has strengthened our economic development efforts, and its success in the Hartford region and ability to provide a direct connection to Europe is having an impact,” the governor added.
“Our mission is to be the leading value network carrier on the North Atlantic, and our support for, and commitment to, routes such as Bradley to Dublin is a vital part of our ensuring we realize our mission,” Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said. “As we grow our long-haul fleet, we look forward to continued success and ensuring even greater connectivity for the people of Connecticut.”