planes at dublin airport

Eoghan Corry Talks Travel – December 2022

New destinations from Aer Lingus, Ryanair’s domination in our regional airports, cruise ship launches and changes at Belfast Airport – Eoghan Corry talks travel this month.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair announce new routes to Brindisi and Kos, but are more on the way? Ryanair dominate in Cork, Shannon and Ireland West, Emerald Airlines expansion, 12 more cruise ship launches this year, and a shake up at Belfast airport. All this and more when Eoghan Corry talks travel this month.



Aer Lingus ambitions.

new route to Brindisi in Puglia by Aer Lingus from Dublin airport
Alberobello, Puglia

Aer Lingus are planning a fourth new destination, not yet announced, for their summer 2023 schedule. Three newcomers have already been loaded into the booking system, bringing the total to 53 European and 16 trans-Atlantic destinations.


Brindisi in Puglia was launched and bookable for 2020 before Covid caused its cancellation. Olbia, on the postage stamp spot in Sardinia, is a surprise choice (Ryanair already operate to Alghero). Kos, long served by TUI from both Dublin and Belfast, is the third newbie.

Read: 3 Destinations you must visit in Puglia


Capacity to Malaga and Faro has increased from Dublin and Cork, and the slanty shamrock has also increased the number of trans-Atlantic seats by 20%, including putting a larger aircraft on Los Angeles.

Dublin Miami will operate until March, but there may be plans to extend it to the summer season. They are also using an A330-200 to increase capacity on their two routes from Manchester to JFK and Orlando.



Ryanair pop a Cork.

Eoghan Corry's talking points on Ryanair

Having criticised Cork for the past three years on not being generous enough in its terms, Ryanair have changed their mind and decided to base a third aircraft there for 2023, bringing the summer offering to 135 departures a week on 29 routes.



Venice Treviso replaces Venice Marco Polo (Dublin still serves Marco Polo). East Midlands replaces Newcastle, which moves to Shannon. Rome Fiumicino (which replaces Ciampino as the entry route from Ireland), La Rochelle and Seville are new, all twice weekly.


This increases Ryanair’s dominance of Cork and, indeed three of Ireland’s regional airports. The only non Ryanair year-round flights on offer from Cork are three destinations served by Aer Lingus and one each by KLM and Vueling, although there are 12 more summer destinations from six more airlines.


In Shannon, Ryanair operates 19 of the airport’s 21 year European round routes. New for 2023 are Liverpool, Newcastle and seasonal routes to Beziers, Naples and Porto.

In Knock, Ryanair will have 60 departures a week in 2023, including a new service to Lanzarote with just one other service on offer, Aer Lingus to Gatwick.



Embarkation 2023.

The Magic Carpet on Celebrity Beyond

If the cruise ship launches of 2022 proved somewhat underwhelming don’t fret, there are over a dozen more on their way. So far, the roller coaster on board the Carnival Jubilee has created the biggest pre-launch splash. Of huge interest to Irish customers, MSC Cruises has two new ships, MSC Euribia in June and the launch of a new luxury category, the 922 passenger Explora 1.


Other launches include the last ship in the Celebrity Edge class, Celebrity Ascent; the second in NCL’s prima class, Norwegian Viva, complete with a racetrack and two freefall slides; Oceania’s first newbuild in a decade, Oceania Vista; Resilient Lady from Virgin Voyages; Seabourn’s second expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit; a much-anticipated top-end offering from Regent Seven Seas, Seven Seas Grandeur; and a new class of ship with all balconies, Silver Nova from Silversea, recently acquired by Royal Caribbean who set their own luxury brand, Azamara, adrift after an unsuccessful decade trying to compete at the pointy end of the cruise business (the place you expect to find Kate Winslett and the doomed Irishman). 

After filing for bankruptcy in 2022, another luxury brand with a long track record in Ireland, Crystal, plans a relaunch under new owners in 2023.

Read: How to choose the right cruise for you



Emerald expansion shakes up routes.

Eoghan Corry talks of the expansion of Emerald Airlines

One in four of the passengers on Emerald Airlines transfers from other destinations to Aer Lingus transatlantic flights at Dublin. So what happens in the baggage hall is of more than passing interest. It is no surprise that Conor McCarthy has decided to set up his own baggage handling and catering loading activities, after the summer of discontent at Dublin Airport.


Emerald has hired 36 people to staff the new division bringing the total number of employees to 400. Emerald, operating under the Aer Lingus Regional banner, will offer 13 routes from Dublin and 10 from Belfast City Airport next summer.



Bye bye Belfast.

Aer Lingus

A dramatic development for summer 2023 is the decision of Aer Lingus to end its Belfast Heathrow service. Brexit is to blame. The English authorities now insist that all aircraft be certified separately, which is all very well until an aircraft goes tech and a replacement has to be flown in from Dublin or far flung places.


A single A320 could not be expected to service Belfast – Heathrow without mishap, especially now that Manchester is being allocated an A330-200 for its trans-Atlantic services. The policy is likely designed to prevent non-international carriers operating domestic routes in the new drawbridge-up Britain and creates similar problems for Ryanair and other internationals.


Belfast-Heathrow will still be operated by BA and Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Emerald Airlines’ English subsidiary with its fleet of London certified ATR aircraft. Emerald new routes from Belfast City Airport for 2023 are Newquay 4 times weekly and Jersey twice weekly.



Missed last month’s post? Read Eoghan Corry November talking points here:

Read: Eoghan Corry talks travel – November 2022

Eoghan Corry


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