Category: Archive

Airlines grounded for New Year’s

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Ray O’Hanlon

It has nothing to do with Y2K fears, say the airlines, but anyone thinking of flying to Ireland on New Year’s Eve had best cool his jets, or catch a boat. There are no scheduled flights.

Aer Lingus, Delta and Continental, who all operate scheduled flights to Ireland year-round from U.S. airports, are giving the eve of the new century/millennium a miss.

Delta and Continental are extending their flight break into the first day of the new century too.

The reasons given are twofold: Lack of bookings and routine holiday rotation of aircraft which can mean a reduction of peak season flight schedules in the eye of the winter holiday period.

That particular fallow period falls around Dec. 31 no matter what the year number on the calendar.

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In the case of Aer Lingus, it was primarily a matter of empty seats in what has otherwise been a record year for transAtlantic passenger traffic.

"There was no take-up on seats for a flight on the 31 at all. You could count the bookings on the finger of one hand," said a spokesman for Aer Lingus, Gerry McDermott.

With bookings so low, Aer Lingus has now added New Year’s Eve to its two more traditional annual days off — Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

By contrast, the Irish carrier did have a flight on New Year’s Eve last year.

The airline is planning to resume normal services between the U.S. and Ireland on Jan. 1, 2000.

A spokeswoman for Continental Airlines, Sarah Anthony, told the Echo that the Houston-based carrier had also decided not to fly on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1 "due to low demand."

And a spokeswoman for Delta, Rhianna Quinn Roddy, confirmed that the Atlanta-based carrier was also giving those two days a miss.

Delta would resume flying to Ireland out of JFK in New York on Jan. 2nd, she said.

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