Irish national carrier Aer Lingus will add another aircraft to its increasingly successful transatlantic route following the release of new figures that show its long-haul routes are popular, despite the recession.
The aircraft will service Chicago, Boston and Orlando.
The latest figures show released by the company show that long-haul flights were 85.7% full, which is up more than 8% on Nov 2011.
A spokesperson for the airline told the Irish Examiner that high demand for transatlantic flights has been fed by successful interaction with the airline's American partners.
"Buoyant demand for transatlantic flights. A lot of transfer business from JetBlue, with people travelling to Chicago and New York before transferring to Aer Lingus to cross the Atlantic. Business-class cabin loads have been good too," the spokesperson said.
Aer Lingus is reportedly adding an extra aircraft to transatlantic routes from next March which will fly four additional flights to Chicago, two to Boston and one to Orlando. Ryanair has reported traffic growth of 5% with loads flat at 80%. On comparable short-haul routes Aer Lingus’s load factor was 70.5%, down 3.1% on November 2011.
The company's short-haul performance was impacted by threatened industrial action in the month, the latest report says. As competition between the two Irish airlines continues, EU regulators are reportedly studying the effect the proposed takeover of Aer Lingus by Ryanair would have. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that the investigation had not yet become critical.
"They are not yet at the critical stage," he said.