DIA announces Aer Lingus flight to Ireland, adding international city

Colorado travelers will be a nonstop flight away from the lush countryside and rich history of Ireland with the launch of new air service next spring out of Denver International Airport.

The Denver-to-Dublin flight by Aer Lingus, the country’s flag carrier, will take off from DIA four times a week beginning on May 17. The airline says tickets for the late-night redeye flight are already on sale, starting at $699 roundtrip.

The flight will be seasonal, DIA says, with service continuing through October 2024 and then returning during the warmer months each year.

New Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, who is among hundreds of thousands of Coloradans with Irish ancestry, celebrated the international flight at a news conference in front of the City and County Building Thursday morning with Denver airport officials and members of the city’s Irish community.

He cited the opportunity for increased tourism — on both sides of the itinerary — as well as the economic impact for Denver.

“Ireland is one of the fastest growing markets in the world — (with) incredible opportunity both in technology and in aerospace, also industries that we share in developing,” he said. “So we think this is an incredible opportunity for us to both grow a commercial relationship with Ireland, as we look to land more international businesses here in Denver, … (and) to connect our businesses here to markets around the world.”

The new flight will expand DIA’s international roster to 28 destinations in 16 countries. The airport offers nonstop service to six other European cities: London; Paris; Zurich; Reykjavik, Iceland; and Munich and Frankfurt, Germany.

Aer Lingus’ flight to Dublin Airport, a major European hub, will enable connections to even more destinations in Europe, said Bill Byrne, the airline’s senior vice president of global sales. And stateside, an advantage for passengers is Aer Lingus’ partnership with United Airlines, DIA’s top-ranked carrier — offering a huge domestic network of connecting flights.

Earlier this week, Aer Lingus teased two new North American flights by sending journalists boarding passes with riddles describing both cities. The airline will serve Denver for the first time and will return to Minneapolis-St. Paul for the first time since the pandemic.

The Denver riddle, hardly veiled, began: “I’m a city that sits high, mile-wise they say …”

Starting in May, the new flights will arrive from Dublin on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in the early evenings before departing DIA later each night, crossing the Atlantic before arriving in Dublin around noon local time the next day. Aer Lingus will use an Airbus A330 wide-body plane.

International air traffic was slow to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, lagging domestic air travel.

But DIA says this year now is on pace to be its busiest ever in terms of international passenger traffic — even if those travelers still make up just 5.4% of all passengers.

The nearly 2 million passengers who traveled between DIA and foreign destinations through June marked an increase of 29% compared to the first half of last year. And that international total was up nearly 24% over the same period in 2019, the last year before the pandemic.

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