Aer Lingus’ website received the most traffic since the COVID pandemic began after the Irish government changed its COVID rules. On Saturday, Ireland removed many COVID-19 restrictions, which inspired a host of travelers to book their holidays en-masse.
Aer Lingus sees sharp rise in bookings
On Monday, Aer Lingus saw a surge in web traffic as passengers flooded the carrier’s website to make bookings. After the Irish government lifted practically all COVID-related restrictions on Saturday, travelers felt more confident in booking journeys with the airline.
Aer Lingus Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Reid Moody said,
“We have been seeing good confidence building since the start of the year but Friday’s announcement gave a huge boost. On Monday we had the busiest day we’ve seen on the website since 2020.”
Moody added that Irish passengers are particularly keen on securing bookings for next month’s school holidays, as well as for a new double bank holiday that falls in March. Additionally, many are booking even further ahead for the summer.
Aer Lingus has also seen a sharp uptick in business travelers and US tourists looking to visit Ireland. This comes after the carrier significantly increased its North American schedule for next summer.
Aer Lingus plans a total of 7,782 flights to the US and Canada next summer, an increase of 10.9% on Summer 2019. Additionally, the airline recently signed a codeshare agreement with American Airlines under the Atlantic Joint Business (AJB) agreement, which includes fellow IAG airlines British Airways and Iberia.
State discussions over additional funding
During the final quarter of 2020, Aer Lingus received a €150 million ($170 million) recovery loan as part of the Irish government’s €2 billion ($2.26 billion) state recovery fund – the Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund.
The loan was agreed upon to provide financial liquidity over the next three years. The airline has reportedly been in talks with the government about securing additional funding. However, talks have not progressed since October last year.
Ireland lifts many COVID restrictions
Ireland lifted almost all COVID restrictions on Saturday, including ending restrictions on household gatherings, opening times and COVID checks to enter venues like restaurants and clubs.
Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said,
“I want to be clear also that the pandemic isn’t over. It will still require all of us to be vigilant.”
Some COVID rules will remain in place, such as wearing masks on public transport and inside most public buildings. Passengers will also need to show digital health passports proving their vaccination and test status in order to travel internationally.
Have you booked any flights with Aer Lingus? Do you see the airline having a successful 2022? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.