The travel industry on both sides of the Atlantic has unanimously welcomed the US decision to reopen its borders to vaccinated visitors from the EU, the UK and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has responded by announcing a seat sale with one way prices from €149 to New York, Boston, Orlando and Washington, DC.
One way fares to Chicago start at €169 whiles a ticket to the west coast start at €259 each way.
The sale is on for the remainder of September.
USA and Ireland Reunited
Responding to the decision by the Biden Administration to lift the travel ban on fully vaccinated travellers from the beginning of November, Chief Customer Officer at Aer Lingus Susanne Carberry said: “Aer Lingus is delighted to finally be re-uniting Ireland, Europe and the United States.
“Often referred to as the ‘51st State’ the connections between Ireland and the US are rich and deep, and we can now can once again connect families, friends and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Good News All Round
IATA’s director general, Willie Walsh, said: “Today’s announcement is a major step forward. Allowing access to the US for those vaccinated will open travel to the US for many who have been locked out for the past 18 months.
“This is excellent news for families and loved ones who have suffered through the heartache and loneliness of separation. It’s good for the millions of livelihoods in the US that depend on global tourism.
“And it will boost the economic recovery by enabling some key business travel markets.”
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) was buoyed by the announcement, which it says was “long overdue.”
“We welcome the Biden Administration’s announcement of long overdue changes to the myriad inbound travel restrictions that have been in place since early 2020,” it said in a statement.
“We view this as a key milestone toward restarting the international travel system on which so many of our members depend.”
“The travel industry as a whole will not recover from COVID until international travel restarts in earnest. Today marks a big step forward toward that goal.”
The news is a major boost for airlines and suppliers that rely on international tourism to the United States.
Scott Balyo, Executive Director, Capital Region USA, said: “We are delighted that from November vaccinated travellers from the UK and Ireland will be able to enter the US and we cannot wait to welcome travellers back to the Capital Region once again following this milestone announcement.”
Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia is one of the main gateways to the US East Coast with direct flights from the UK with United Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Aer Lingus and is now expecting significant arrivals once again from November.”
Orlando is extremely popular with Irish visitors and in pre-pandemic times was the most visited city in the world, with nearly 70m annual arrivals.
Alison Montague, Vice President & Managing Director, EMEA, Universal Parks & Resorts said: ““This long awaited and positive news is a fantastic update for the UK-US travel industry.”
“To receive such good news going into our peak booking months is a huge boost for our travel trade partners and I’m sure they will be seeing an instant uplift in both enquiries and bookings right now.”
“Retaining those key travel periods of Christmas, February half-term and Easter, was so important to us all.”