Aer Lingus UK is a British airline and wholly owned subsidiary of Aer Lingus, the flag carrier of the Republic of Ireland. It is headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland with its operations based at Manchester Airport. The airline's operations launched on 20 October 2021, with its inaugural flight from Manchester to Barbados.


Aer Lingus UK was established during 2020 and headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland as a United Kingdom-based airline. By November 2020, plans for the airline involved launching the operation of transatlantic flights from the UK to the United States, with the initial planned destinations consisting of Boston, New York JFK, and Orlando from a base at Manchester Airport. The airline's initial fleet plans consisted of two Airbus A321LRs and two Airbus A330-300s, all to be transferred from parent company Aer Lingus. The airline would conceptually compete with Virgin Atlantic, another British airline operating transatlantic flights from Manchester, as well as fill in part of the void left by Manchester-based and headquartered Thomas Cook Airlines, which ceased operations in September 2019.

In December 2020, the airline applied with the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) for a foreign air carrier permit, which was approved in March 2021. Parent company Aer Lingus subsequently announced on 24 March 2021 that Manchester-based flights operated by Aer Lingus UK would launch to New York JFK and Orlando on 29 July 2021, to Barbados on 20 October 2021, and to Boston during summer 2022. In June 2021, the airline announced that the launch of routes to New York JFK and Orlando would be delayed to 30 September 2021, in anticipation of international borders between Europe and the United States reopening later than expected.

On 8 July 2021, Aer Lingus UK was granted its air operator's certificate (AOC) by the UK CAA. The airline also submitted its AOC to the USDOT for the approval of its application. In the days prior to receiving its AOC, the airline officially transferred one Airbus A330-300 from parent company Aer Lingus, with the transfer of one Airbus A321LR and a further Airbus A330-300 following. On 25 August 2021, the airline's services to the United States were again postponed, with their launch delayed to December 2021. Aer Lingus UK's scheduled flights to Barbados were unaffected, and the airline's operations began with the route's launch on 20 October 2021.


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Alena Potapova

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