DENVER — A new international airline is coming to Colorado.
Denver International Airport (DIA) announced Thursday international airline Aer Lingus will be coming to one of the world's busiest airports next year.
Aer Lingus will launch flights between Colorado and Ireland.
DIA said the new nonstop service between Denver and Dublin will begin May 17, 2024.
Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, DIA CEO Phil Washington and representatives from Aer Lingus spoke about the airport addition Thursday morning at the Denver City and County Building.
Aer Lingus will become the 24th airline to serve DIA and will operate four days per week in the summer season, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, on a 271-seat Airbus A330 aircraft.
DIA said passengers on the route can take advantage of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Preclearance program at Dublin Airport, which allows Denver-bound passengers to clear U.S. immigration and customs in Dublin, expediting their arrival in Denver.
Flights are scheduled to depart Denver at 8:45 p.m. and arrive in Dublin at 12:30 p.m. the next day. Returning flights from Dublin will depart at 4:15 p.m., arriving in Denver at 7 p.m.
“With Dublin’s geographic position as the gateway to Europe, pre-clearance facilities at the airport and the strong, long established Irish American ties, Aer Lingus is ideally placed to connect people and places across the Atlantic,” Aer Lingus Chief Executive, Lynne Embleton said.
“Denver is a significant business destination within the US and the launch of Aer Lingus’ non-stop route facilitates corporate links and connectivity between North America and Europe, through our Dublin Hub. Denver’s position as the ‘Gateway to the Rockies’ and its outdoor appeal, from world class skiing to hiking, opens up a whole new US experience to leisure travelers from Ireland and Europe.”
The new Dublin-Denver service will bring the total number of routes operated by Aer Lingus to 18 between North America and Ireland.
"The establishment by Aer Lingus of this new transatlantic route helps us further our Vision 100 goal to increase global connectivity for our customers,” Washington said. “We’re pleased to welcome Aer Lingus as [DIA's] newest airline partner and look forward to inaugurating service next spring."
"Both sides of my family emigrated to the United States from Ireland, and I'm excited to reconnect many Denverites to their ancestral homeland through these new nonstop flights to Dublin," Johnston said.
"This new service will also support our goal to be one of the strongest economic cities in the United States. Ireland is a top growth market for trade and investment opportunities in many of Denver's strongest industries, and there is incredible opportunity for increased collaboration, bilateral exchange, and communication as a result of this new service."
"This new flight from Denver to Dublin via Aer Lingus is exciting for our state. We look forward to welcoming visitors from Dublin to explore and experience all that our state has to offer and promote investment, trade, and cultural exchange between Dublin and Colorado," Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) said.
June 2023 was the busiest month ever for passenger traffic at Denver International Airport, the airport said.
The airport served more than 6.7 million passengers in June, breaking the previous record, set in July 2019, by more than 35,000 passengers. Passenger volume in June was up 8.2% over the previous June.
June hasn't been the only popular travel month this year. The airport said overall passenger traffic in the first half of the year reached an all-time high of more than 36.5 million passengers. That's an increase of 13.6% from the first half of 2022.
June 2023 was also the busiest month ever for international passenger traffic, with nearly 400,000 travelers.
For the first six months of the year, international passenger traffic totaled nearly 2 million people, making the first half of 2023 the busiest for international traffic ever at the airport.
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