DALLAS – Today in Aviation, Aer Lingus (EI) operated its maiden transatlantic flight in 1958 from Dublin (DUB) to New York (JFK) via Shannon (SNN). EI became the 17th airline in the world to commence scheduled services across the pond.
Aer Lingus established a transatlantic subsidiary known as Aerlinte Eireann to operate these services. The division would become Irish Air Lines in 1959 and Aer Lingus Irish International Airlines in 1960. This coincided with EI’s entering the jet age with the arrival of the carrier’s first Boeing 720s.
Aer Lingus ‘Connies’
Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellations operated the initial transatlantic routes leased from Seaboard and Western Airlines (SB). The ‘Connies’ were dubbed ‘the great emerald fleet.’ L-1049H, registration N1009C, flew the maiden sortie.
Seaboard and Western provided the cockpit crew. It consisted of Captain Bill Donahue, assisted by relief Captain Joe O’Dwyer, First Officer Bob McAllister, Flight Engineers Bob O’Donnell and Danny Been, plus Navigator Mike Green. All were Irish-Americans.
Meanwhile, in the cabin, the 95 passengers were tended to by EI Flight Attendants Rosalind McCarthy, Joan Camman and Miriam O’Donnell.
After the inaugural flight touched down, it was welcomed by a salute from the 165th Infantry of the New York National Guard. Over 14,000 passengers were carried on the new route in the first year.
Today’s Transatlantic Operations
Today, EI flies to 14 cities across the USA and Canada. It utilises a fleet of ten Airbus A330-300s and seven A321LRs. It also has six A321XLRs on order, due for delivery in 2023.
Transatlantic services are operated from the carrier’s Dublin and Shannon bases and, since December 2021, from its new Manchester base.
Featured image: N1009C for the maiden transatlantic flight by Aer Lingus. Photo: Aer Lingus