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Tourism Ireland says that The Gathering has helped Aer Lingus. Photo by: Gathering

Spike in Aer Lingus passenger numbers down to The Gathering

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Tourism Ireland says that The Gathering has helped Aer Lingus. Photo by: Gathering

Tourism Ireland says that The Gathering has helped Aer Lingus.

Aer Lingus has reported a major increase in passengers as 844,000 flew in March, which made a 4.3 percent increase for the Irish airline. About 8,000 people were invited to participate in the People’s Parade on St. Patrick’s Day as part of The Gathering.

Short haul numbers increased 3.4 percent. Long haul numbers increased 13.7 percent with a notable increase from US routes.

More increases in tourists are expected as Aer Lingus opens more routes from America. The Herald reported Tourism Ireland chief Niall Gibbons said, “There are new routes that have yet to be started. A new route from Philadelphia into Shannon with US Airways will begin in May. United Airlines from Chicago to Shannon will begin in June.” He added: “Another route with American Airlines from JFK to Dublin will begin in June also.”

Both Delta and Aer Lingus have announced additional frequency or capacity on their Boston, Chicago or Orlando routes. Gibbons said that 2013, the year of The Gathering, looks like it will be a record year for tourists from North America.

About The Gathering he said, “There is no question that The Gathering has played a role. I have no doubt that the reason that some of these routes came about was because of The Gathering and the increased demand. It is great to see such capacity.”

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