Aer Lingus Flights - Credit: Submitted
Aer Lingus Flights - Credit: Submitted

Exeter airport flies high as USA flights launched

Torbay Weekly

Thanks to Emerald Airlines and Aer Lingus, Exeter Airport is celebrating the launch of flights to the USA and Canada, along with increased connectivity to Dublin. Emerald Airlines, exclusive operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will be operating the Exeter-Dublin routes that connect seamlessly with Aer Lingus’ transatlantic network from Dublin. 

For the first time from Exeter, passengers can now fly to New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington and Toronto, via Dublin. It means they can board a flight in Exeter at 9.10am and be in New York in time for dinner the same day. 

Passengers flying to the US can buy a single ticket, which includes baggage transfer and allows them to avail of the US Immigration Pre-clearance at Dublin Airport before they fly. 

Dublin Airport is one of only a few airports outside North America with a US pre-clearance facility. Inbound passengers are treated as domestic arrivals in the US, and so avoid any lengthy immigration queues when they land stateside. 

Among those booked on this morning’s inaugural flight from Exeter were the Harris family from Barnstaple in North Devon, who were flying to New York for a weekend of entertainment. 

Sharon Harris, 52, and her daughters Abi, 24, and Sasha, 22, were excited to be attending a concert by American actor and singer Jeremy Jordan in Newark before heading on to a performance of Moulin Rouge in New York. They arrive back into Devon on Monday.  

It was a birthday trip that had been booked since 2020 and had to be cancelled around five times because of the pandemic. 

Mum Sharon said being able to fly from Exeter Airport was a huge bonus: “It’s amazing for us because the airport is so close to home,” said Sharon. “It’s only taken us 50 minutes to get here. It’s on the doorstep, it’s so easy. There’s no overnight stay in London or extra expense. It’s just made it so much easier. We’re really looking forward to getting away and this has made it all much less stressful.” 

Also on board was grandmother Hazel Gillard, 71, from Exeter, who was flying to Toronto in Canada to visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, aged 11 and eight. Hazel has been making the journey for years and says being able to fly from her hometown is a great help.

Exeter Airport Managing Director, Stephen Wiltshire (left) with Emerald Airlines Head of Commercial Ciarán Smith (right), and cabin crew Greta Wilfling and Juan Hernandez. 

She said: “It’s wonderful – it’s only taken me 10 minutes to get here today. It just takes a lot of the pressure off as you don’t have to worry about getting to Heathrow and staying overnight, which I was having to do before. Now I can relax and look forward to seeing my family.” 

Exeter Airport Managing Director, Stephen Wiltshire, said: “We’re thrilled to see the start of flights from Exeter to North America via Dublin. They open up a range of transatlantic destinations and regional air travel to Ireland for leisure and business passengers. We’re also seeing overseas bookings from people in Ireland and North America keen to explore Devon and the South West. So we expect the new route to be a boost for inbound tourism as well.” 

Ciarán Smith, Head of Commercial at Emerald Airlines, added: “This is an exciting day for us at Emerald Airlines, as it is the very first time that Aer Lingus Regional will be servicing flights between Exeter and Dublin. We’re delighted to be bringing more choice, convenience, and terrific value for both regional and transatlantic air travel from Exeter Airport and look forward to the success of this route.” 

Flights from Exeter to Dublin and onward to the USA and Canada can be booked at www.aerlingus.com 

For details of all 29 destinations available from Exeter Airport in 2022-23 visit https://www.exeter-airport.co.uk/flights-holidays/  

The schedule to Dublin will see flights leaving from Exeter five days a week, Thursday through to Monday, at 9.10am and the return flight from Dublin to Exeter operates on the same days.