Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus is to launch AerSpace, a new premium travel experience for its short haul customers and which will debut on parts of its UK and European network from 01-Sep-2019. So what’s new? Not a lot in fact. It may be a new premium concept for the airline but will simply guarantee corporate customers with an aisle or window seat on the first row of the aircraft with the middle seat left unoccupied.
There are some further additions. The new concept does also offer reserved cabin space directly overhead overcoming the increasing inconvenience of boarding late and having no overhead space for baggage storage. It also includes complimentary lounge access, Fast Track security, priority boarding and on-board refreshments from the Aer Lingus’ onboard menu – a usual stable of a business class ticket.
But this is not a class of travel, rather a new fare option with an enhanced product concept to meet with the changing demands of air passengers. It has been developed in response to feedback from customers seeking a more premium and spacious travel experience when flying short haul with Aer Lingus. As a simple higher fare proposition and a not a premium class of travel, but it will still not avoid the hefty Air Passenger Duty (APD) premium for business class travellers in the UK.
Aer Lingus was one of the pioneers among Europe’s flag carriers to adopt a single-class offer on its short-haul network to compete better with LCC rivals. But it acknowledges that flying on the Dublin – London corridor, it has had to adapt once more to travel trends. This city pair is a busy business route and Aer Lingus says bookings indicate that around one in four passengers are travelling for business purposes.
Whether travelling on business or leisure, Aer Lingus describes AerSpace as a “unique offering in Europe” that “promises a seamless travel experience”. Commenting on the launch, Susanne Carberry, director of network revenue and loyalty at Aer Lingus, says the new fare option will deliver greater comfort and convenience to passengers. “At Aer Lingus we are committed to innovating our product offering to meet travellers’ ever-changing needs,” she adds.
AerSpace expands Aer Lingus’ fare offering, which also includes Saver, the lowest fare option, Plus, and Advantage, together offering a menu of choice to cater for different travellers’ individual needs. The new concept is already open for bookings for travel across a variety of routes from the start of Sep-2019 with fares from EUR129 each-way including taxes and charges.
The AerSpace concept will be available on Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to the UK destinations of London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City, Birmingham and Manchester; on routes linking Cork, Shannon and Belfast to London Heathrow and between Knock and London Gatwick.
On its short-haul network into Continental Europe, AerSpace will be available on routes linking Dublin to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan (Linate and Malpensa airports) Munich, Paris and Zurich; and between Cork and Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, Munich and Paris.