When Aer Lingus’ first flight touched down in Bristol in 1936, it would have been unimaginable that one day the airline would open up a route between Dublin and Minneapolis. And yet, 83 years later, it is about to do just that.

Far removed from the days of six-seater planes solely crossing the Irish channel, Aer Lingus now serves as Ireland’s chief gateway into the United States and July will see it fly to another US city when it opens its daily service to Minneapolis – Saint Paul.

The new route will see the airline serve 13 different US destinations, from tourist hotspots like Orlando and Miami to business hubs like New York and Boston.

Even in 1958, when Aer Lingus made its maiden transatlantic voyage from Shannon to New York, it was still unfathomable that Ireland would have such direct access to such a variety of US cities.

Advances in aircraft have clearly aided the exponential development, but of tantamount importance was the Open Skies agreement between the EU and the US in 2007. The agreement allowed any EU based airline to land anywhere in the US, and vice versa and Aer Lingus has taken full advantage, adding ten US routes since the agreement was made.

Read more: This new Aer Lingus venture could result in even lower transatlantic fares

A DH.84 Dragon, repainted in the livery of Aer Lingus' original aircraft "Iolar." Image: WikiCommons.

A DH.84 Dragon, repainted in the livery of Aer Lingus' original aircraft "Iolar." Image: WikiCommons.

Aer Lingus has always been synonymous with air travel in Ireland ever since its inception and, with its ever-growing list of transatlantic flights, it will continue to be in the future.

It is, of course, not just in the US that Aer Lingus has grown since that flight to Bristol in 1936. With 92 routes in 24 countries worldwide, Aer Lingus has become an established name throughout Europe.

Read more: Aer Lingus launches new partnership which will make your European travel even easier

A trip to Paris in 1946 became the airline’s first flight outside of Ireland and the UK and it has never looked back. It now serves ten different French destinations, as well as eleven different Spanish ones.

From that first flight to Bristol in 1936 to that first transatlantic flight to Boston in 1958, Aer Lingus has always been moving forward. With such a diverse range of destinations, both in the US and in Europe, it will continue to keep moving forward.

Happy first flight anniversary, Aer Lingus! 

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