aer lingus a321lr

Aer Lingus opens Montreal-Dublin route

This post is also available in: FR

Irish airline Aer Lingus has announced the opening of a new route between Montreal and Dublin. This is great news for Membership Rewards & Avios collectors! Details.

Montreal-Dublin with Aer Lingus

Air Canada launched service in 2018 between Montreal and Dublin operated on their Boeing 737 MAX. It is indeed more and more common to see “single aisle” aircraft serving close destinations in Europe. Primera Air does the same thing with its Airbus A321LR between Montreal and Paris. And Air Transat will soon do the same with its A321LR on order.

So Aer Lingus has decided to strike back at Air Canada by launching a daily flight between Montreal and Dublin starting August 8, 2019!

The flight schedule is ideal for an extended weekend in Dublin:

Flight number Origin Destination Departure Arrival
EI98 Montreal Dublin 22:20 09:40 (+1)
EI99 Dublin Montreal 18:50 20:50

The flight will be operated by a single-aisle aircraft, an Airbus A321LR.

aer lingus a321lr

The Irish company has ordered 12 of them to tackle various North American destinations, which will be delivered starting in 2019.

british airways club

New possibilities with Avios miles

What’s particularly interesting about this announcement is the new option for those with British Airways Executive Club miles! Aer Lingus does not have excessive carrier surcharges (unlike British Airways), which makes using Avios miles very attractive!

Aer Lingus is one of the airlines we list in our best uses of airline miles.

Unlike other programs such as Aeroplan, British Airways Executive Club does not have a destination-based award chart. It’s a distance-based program: the further you travel, the more frequent flyer miles you’ll need to earn an airline award. And the more connections you make, the more miles you’ll use.

This calculator is available to calculate the number of Avios miles required.

The zones correspond to a distance travelled between your origin and the destination.

Zone 1

0 – 650 miles

Zone 4

2001 – 3000 miles

Zone 7

5501 – 6500 miles

Zone 2 boarding

651 – 1151 miles

Zone 5

3001 – 4000 miles

Zone 8

6501 – 7000 miles

Zone 3

1152 – 2000 miles

Zone 6

4001 – 5500 miles

Zone 9

7001 miles and over

Thus, Montreal-Dublin – with a distance of 2,973 miles – should theoretically be in Zone 4 (2001-3000 miles). But British Airways Executive Club may classify this route as zone 5, as the program has done for other “borderline” destinations.

yul dub distance

If we look at the British Airways Executive Club fare structure…

avios charte

…the ticket should cost one way:

Zone Economy Business
Off-peak Peak Off-peak Peak
Zone 4 10 000 12 500 31 250 37 500
Zone 5 13 000 20 000 50 000 60 000

Between 10,000 and 20,000 airline miles one way in economy and between 31,250 and 60,000 airline miles in business class!

And unlike Air Canada and its Boeing 737 Max, Aer Lingus’ A321LR should have sleeper seats like its wide-body aircraft! Take the guided tour:

It remains to be seen what taxes are applied, but Aer Lingus is known for not passing on carrier surcharges to award tickets, unlike British Airways! As soon as flights are available for booking with Avios miles, we will notify you!

Cards to earn airline miles

All American Express Membership Rewards cards (except the American Express Cobalt Card) can transfer Membership Rewards points to British Airways Executive Club Avios at a 1:1 rate.

For the American Express Cobalt Card ” Select Membership Rewards”, you must go through the Marriott Bonvoy program to transfer the points into Avios miles.

50,000 Select Membership Rewards points = 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points = 25,000 Avios miles

Finally, RBC Rewards credit cards also allow for the transfer of RBC Rewards points to Avios miles, again at a 1:1 ratio.

This post is also available in: FR

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Jean-Maximilien is an expert in Canada and France about Loyalty programs, Credit cards and Travel. He is the Founding President of Milesopedia.

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