Traveling to Ireland in the winter just got a little bit easier. Yesterday, Aer Lingus announced its schedule for Winter 2015 – 2016 and it includes a further boost to its growing long haul business with a 13% increase in capacity compared to winter 2014 – 2015.

The additional frequencies will serve demand over peak holiday travel, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The airline is also investing heavily in key European short haul routes. In all, an extra 275,000 seats will be available, representing Aer Lingus’ biggest growth in its winter schedule in the past 10 years.

More flights from North America

• An extension to the four times weekly Washington D.C. (Dulles) to Dublin service to January 4, 2016

• An increase in frequency on the New York to Dublin route from January through to March with 5% growth versus last winter

• A double daily operation in November, December and March from Boston to Dublin with 19% capacity increase

• Ten weekly services from Chicago to Dublin in November, December and March, up 18% on winter last year

• Added frequency on flights from San Francisco and Orlando to Dublin over Christmas

• Flights between Toronto and Dublin will continue throughout the winter with up to four weekly flights

• Flights between Boston and Shannon will operate throughout the winter while flights between New York and Shannon will be suspended from early January to mid-March, recommencing in-time for demand over St Patrick’s Day

• Enhanced connecting flows between North America and Europe, which means customers can choose from over 70 onward connections across Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe.

New European routes

In an effort to add connectivity for those who wish to travel onwards from Ireland, Aer Lingus is also adding new European routes. Customers connecting between the U.S. and Europe via Dublin this winter have more choice than before.

The Aer Lingus short haul expansion features increased frequencies on many popular European destinations in addition to improved timings on key high frequency business routes.

A new daily service between Dublin and Liverpool will commence October 23, with a total of sixteen flights per week. This will significantly boost Aer Lingus’ presence in the UK’s North West region and strengthen the historic ties between the two cities. It adds further strength to Aer Lingus’ offering between Ireland and the UK, covering 19 UK airports and a total of 32 routes.

There are over five million short haul seats in the winter schedule, representing an increase of 5% growth year on year including;

• 10% more seats on Aer Lingus from Dublin to Manchester with up to six flights daily

• 14% more seats on Aer Lingus from Dublin to Birmingham with up to six flights daily, serving peak business traffic

• 15% growth on Dublin to Paris route with an additional prime evening business flight

• 5% growth on Dublin to Amsterdam service with up to five flights daily

• Three flights daily between Dublin and Brussels with improved evening times to facilitate day return business customers

• An extra 20% capacity will be added to the three times daily services between Shannon and London Heathrow. The route will be served by a larger aircraft, an Airbus A320, with an extra 25,000 seats available

• Flights between Shannon and Lanzarote will operate throughout the winter with one service per week. This too will be served by a larger aircraft, increasing the number of seats available by 20%, adding 1,300 extra seats

• Additional flights to Zurich and Geneva with 10% extra seats, to cover demand during ski season

• Aer Lingus will move its flight services to Berlin to Tegel airport and increase the frequency to 10 flights per week, representing 18% additional capacity

• Up to 26 flights per week to the Canary Islands and Morocco, catering for demand over Christmas.

"The 2015 winter program is driven by three major strategy goals. We continue to invest in growing long haul capacity by increasing capacity on current year round routes and making more routes available year round. It returns our short haul business to growth mode and represents our most significant investment in the sector for a decade. That short haul investment is concentrated on our Eurocities markets, with new routes and capacity increases in destinations like Liverpool. Paris, Amsterdam and Manchester where our ‘Smart Travel’ value proposition to both short haul and long haul connecting passengers is driving substantial growth. All of this will continue to drive Dublin’s position as Europe’s best value transatlantic hub.

"The strategy supports Aer Lingus’ strategy to provide greater access and choice for North American customers with an additional 70,000 transatlantic seats versus last winter and Irish customers with 250,000 seats available a week to and from Ireland. All of this provides greater choice to customers traveling between North America, Ireland, and Europe with seamless transfer options, making Aer Lingus the smarter choice," said Aer Lingus Chief Revenue Officer, Mike Rutter.