From October 29, London Southend airport passengers will be able to connect to Aer Lingus transatlantic services and complete US pre-clearance in Dublin Airport, ahead of their onward journey to the US and Canada when booking direct with Aer Lingus or with a travel agent.
This new service is being made possible by the introduction of Flybe’s London Southend to Dublin route, operated by Stobart Air, offering up to three flights per day, seven days a week.
Aer Lingus flies to a total of 12 North American destinations, including New York, Boston, Washington, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orlando, Newark, Toronto and Hartford, Connecticut. The airline also recently announced a new Dublin to Philadelphia route, commencing in March 2018.
Completing pre-clearance at Dublin Airport – operated and staffed by US Customs and Border staff – means that on arrival in the US, passengers will be treated similarly to domestic passengers and so avoid the lengthy delays so often associated with US security.
It is estimated that this service will save passengers up to two hours on arrival in the US. Ireland is the only country in Europe to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to US destinations.
Commenting on this announcement, Glyn Jones, CEO of London-Southend Airport said: “We are excited to announce details of this service which will open London Southend up to transatlantic travel and save our customers time in the process.
“We estimate that over 13 million passengers travel through London airports to fly to North America annually, adding substantial time to their journey.
“Now there is an alternative. This service will enable customers to fly from London Southend airport, complete security and customs checks in Dublin before making their onward trip to the US at reduced journey times.”
He added: “With up to three daily services to Dublin, this route offers frequency, optimum schedules and an efficient, convenient and effortless connection to US destinations for our business and leisure passengers.
“We are constantly reviewing our services and looking at ways to enhance our offering. Connectivity is always key for our customers and this service we’re offering together with Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport reflects this.”