Exeter Airport now offering flights to New York

Exeter airport USA flights 290422
The first flights set off on Friday morning (April 29) Credit: A white and green Aer Lingus plane sat on a runway

Passengers can now fly from Exeter Airport to major cities in North America, with the first flights taking off this morning (April 29).

The Aer Lingus lines, operated by Emerald Airlines, take passengers to places including New York, Chicago and Toronto - with a brief stop in Dublin.

Travellers only need to purchase one ticket, which will see their bags transferred for them and flyers pre-cleared by US Customs.

Ciaran Smith is Head of Commercial at Emerald Airlines.

He said: "It's a huge day for us here at Emerald Airlines, on our first flight here from Exeter to North America, via Dublin.

"Our first flight, we have passengers connecting onto destinations such as Toronto, Washington and JFK, so it's a massive opportunity for the people of the South West to travel seamlessly to North America and also to the Emerald Island - to Dublin."

The new flights are a positive sign for the future of the airport after it faced serious challenges during the pandemic.

Steve Wiltshire, Managing Director of Exeter Airport, said the numbers are almost back to normal.

"It's really exciting", he said. "It's the first time we've been able to connect Dublin to the United States and Canada, and we're also on the dawn of our new season this summer and we seem to be bouncing back to almost pre-pandemic levels.

"It's looking pretty healthy. We've got a range of destinations and the bookings are really good", Mr Wiltshire added.