MIAMI – Aer Lingus (EI) has been approved to join American Airlines (AA) in a transatlantic joint venture, meaning lower fares to/from North America.

The approval comes almost a year after the Irish-founded airline formally applied to the United States Department of Transportation (DoT) to join the Oneworld revenue-sharing venture, which its members say would produce annual customer benefits of up to US$96m (€79m).

With the addition of EI, the DoT said that carriers are expected to increase capacity on some existing routes while adding services on a range of new routes, enabling more travel options to/from the Republic of Ireland and the rest of Europe. Last year, a motion filed to the DoT by the joint venture suggested a variety of possible advantages, namely lower fares and more connections via the enhanced codesharing.

Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways

Benefits of the Joint Venture

In total, 72 new codeshare destinations for EI in North America and 12 for AA beyond Dublin would result from the expanded joint venture. The airlines also said the move would open new routes in North America for AE and could stimulate demand each year for up to 16,800 additional passengers, which would in turn drive ticket prices down.

Approval comes as the latest UK subsidy from the airline recently applied to the DoT for a permit from a foreign carrier allowing it to fly from Britain there. Documents indicate that Aer Lingus (UK) Ltd plans to use four Airbus aircraft, two of which are usually based in the Republic, to fly from Manchester to Boston, New York and Orlando, Florida.

According to the Irish Times, EI also plans to use two new long-haul (LR) Airbus A321 aircraft, originally intended for the Republic, on its proposed Manchester-US routes.

Featured image: Francesco Cecchetti/Airways