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09/13/2018

Gov. Malloy Announces Aer Lingus Commits to Bradley International Airport for at Least Four More Years

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that Aer Lingus service at Bradley International Airport will continue for at least four more years under a new agreement made with the state, committing the airline to continue its transatlantic service at the airport through September 2022.

Additionally, Aer Lingus has committed to placing one of its first four A321neoLR aircrafts on the Bradley to Dublin route. The new aircraft will provide added comfort and efficiency.

“Bradley International Airport is a major economic driver for Connecticut and it continues to be a key player in our efforts to grow our economy, boost tourism, and improve our transportation system,” Governor Malloy said. “Over the last several years, we have focused our efforts on utilizing this valuable resource to spark growth and increase our economic viability. The addition of Aer Lingus at Bradley has strengthened our economic development efforts, and its success in the Hartford region and ability to provide a direct connection to Europe is having an impact.”

Aer Lingus began service at Bradley in September 2016, providing a direct route between Hartford and Dublin. The flight provides easy access to multiple points in Europe and has seen continuous ridership increases year over year since its inaugural flight.

“At Aer Lingus our mission is to be the leading value network carrier on the North Atlantic, and our support for, and commitment to, routes such as Bradley to Dublin is a vital part of our ensuring we realize our mission,” Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said. Those wishing to connect to Europe from Connecticut can utilize Dublin as a hub, can choose from our extensive European network, and also have the additional benefit of US immigration pre-clearance on their return journey. It is also a very attractive proposition for those travelling from Europe, with the resulting positive impact on tourism and business travel to the region. The success of the route over the last two years has proven the model of airlines, airports, and communities sharing risk to bring international air service to previously un-served cities. As we grow our long haul fleet, we look forward to continued success and ensuring even greater connectivity for the people of Connecticut.”

“Ensuring the continuation of Aer Lingus’ service is a major boost for Connecticut’s businesses and tourism industry,” Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) Board Chair Tony Sheridan said. “The Dublin service provides an opportunity to tap into a wide array of inbound European markets and we look forward to capitalizing on the momentum of this announcement as we continue selling Connecticut aggressively as a destination for Europeans to do business and visit.”

“It’s good news that Aer Lingus has the confidence in the future of this flight to promise at least four more years of service,” Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Commissioner Catherine Smith said. “Connecticut’s companies have global customers and suppliers and having access through Bradley makes business travel much easier for companies in our region. Tourism traffic is also gaining momentum and filling more and more seats.”

“We are pleased that DECD and Aer Lingus were able to come to terms on this new arrangement, as nonstop transatlantic service is a critical component of our strategic growth plan at Bradley International Airport,” CAA Executive Director Kevin A. Dillon, A.A.E., said. “We have maintained a very successful partnership between the Connecticut Airport Authority and Aer Lingus, and we look forward to taking this service to the next level together over the next few years.”

Under the original agreement, DECD was to provide Aer Lingus up to a $4.5 million revenue guarantee the first two years if total revenue falls short of a pre-determined target. The new agreement announced today calls for a reduced guarantee (limited to certain winter months) of not more than $3.8 million in the second year, dropping to not more than $3 million in the third year, and not more than $2 million in the fourth, bringing the maximum four-year potential subsidy total to $13.3 million. In return, Aer Lingus has already committed to operating the service in the fifth and sixth year of service with no subsidy from the state. In addition to state support, in the first two years of the service the CAA contributed to the success of the route with landing fee waivers and the availability of substantial marketing support.

About Bradley International Airport

Bradley International Airport is the second largest airport in New England, with a customer base that covers the entire northeast. In 2017, the airport marked its fifth consecutive year of year-over-year passenger growth. It was also rated the fifth best airport in the nation by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards. Recently, the airport added to its menu of nonstop routes with direct service to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dublin, Denver, Myrtle Beach, and St. Louis. Additionally, the airport has successfully implemented a number of terminal enhancements, including the addition of Two Roads Tap Room, Escape Lounge, Phillips Seafood, a duty-free shop, and a mother’s nursing room. For more info, visit www.flybdl.org.

About the Connecticut Airport Authority

The Connecticut Airport Authority was established in 2011 by Governor Malloy with the goal of transforming Bradley International Airport and five of the state's general aviation airports (Danielson, Groton/New London, Hartford-Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham Airports) into vibrant economic drivers. The CAA, a quasi-public agency, has the flexibility and autonomy to streamline processes and maintain responsiveness to economic opportunities for the airports. The CAA Board of Directors consists of 11 members with a broad spectrum of experience in aviation-related and various other industries. Board members have experience and expertise in government, financial planning, budgeting and assessment, marketing, master planning, aviation, and transportation management. For more info, visit www.ctairports.org.

About Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland, founded in 1936. It operates 65 aircraft on over 100 routes, flying 17 direct routes from North America to Ireland and onwards to destinations in the UK and Europe. The airline carries more than 12 million guests per annum. Aer Lingus is Ireland’s only 4-Star airline, awarded by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organization. Its mission is to become the leading value carrier operating across the North Atlantic enabled by a profitable and sustainable short-haul network, and supported by a guest-focused brand and a digitally-enabled value proposition. Its home base is Dublin Airport. Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world's largest airline groups. For more info, visit www.aerlingus.com.

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