Aer Lingus has launched its Dublin to Minneapolis - St. Paul nonstop route

Aer Lingus commenced its newest direct route between Dublin and Minneapolis - St. Paul on Monday, July 1.

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The first-ever direct flight from Dublin to MSP was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute. Inside the airport, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with accompaniment from Irish dancers, Irish musicians, and uniformed brand ambassadors.

The inaugural Dublin to Minneapolis - St. Paul direct flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute (Aer Lingus)

The inaugural Dublin to Minneapolis - St. Paul direct flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute (Aer Lingus)

Initially, the new Minneapolis-St. Paul to Dublin service will operate only six times a week, but by August, it will increase to daily, year-round service with up to 2,478 roundtrip seats available each week.

While bringing residents of the American midwest closer to Ireland, the new service also provides a connection for those wishing to travel further abroad in Europe via Dubin with further destinations including Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and more.

Noting the convenience of Dublin Airport's US Immigration pre-clearance facility, Aer Lingus noted that Monday's inaugural flight to MSP saw 45 percent of its passengers begin their trip in the UK and Europe. On the return flight, 30 percent of guests were continuing onward to a different destination after Dublin.

Read More: New Aer Lingus package helps travelers discover their Irish roots in Ireland

The new Dublin to Minneapolis - St. Paul route brings the number of Aer Lingus's direct routes to North America to an impressive 16 destinations.

Sean Doyle, CEO of Aer Lingus, said:  “We are delighted to commence Ireland’s first and only direct service to Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota State.”

“The Minneapolis-St. Paul region holds great promise for Aer Lingus particularly in terms of the connections we can offer to the UK and European guests as well as those traveling from North America and onwards to Europe. As a destination, there is both business and leisure appeal and we’re delighted to report that we are geared up for a busy summer.”

Attracting 40 million visitors annually, Minneapolis is the number one tourist destination for people visiting the American midwest. The area is also home to some of the biggest corporations in the county, including Target and General Mills, providing a valuable and direct link for those conducting business.

Read More: Aer Lingus planning more than 15 new North American destinations

Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Head of North America, said: “We are delighted to welcome the launch by Aer Lingus of its new non-stop Minneapolis-St Paul to Dublin service, which will provide another major boost for both leisure and business tourism from the US to the island of Ireland."

"As an island, the importance of frequent, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. We wish Aer Lingus every success with the new route and we look forward to co-operating with them to maximize the promotion of this new service from Minneapolis-St Paul."

Will you be flying to the midwest with Aer Lingus? Let us know in the comments!

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Aer Lingus began its first-ever direct flight service from Dublin to Minneapolis - St. Paul this weekAer Lingus