Aer Lingus has announced a new premium product for short-haul flights on 27 busy routes from Ireland to cities such as London, Paris and Manchester.
The IAG-owned Irish airline, which scrapped short-haul business class in 2002, says bookings indicate that 25% of passengers travelling between Dublin and London are on business.
As part of the new offering, dubbed "AerSpace", the middle seat in the front row will be left free, giving passengers more room, the carrier says. Travellers will also avail of lounge access, reserved space in the overhead baggage bins, fast-track security, priority boarding and free food and drinks. The new fare option will be available on flights from September 1.
Aer Lingus is undergoing a brand refresh this year, its first in over 20 years, and is awaiting delivery of new long-range narrowbody Airbus A321LR jets.
"We are proud to launch AerSpace in response to feedback from our guests seeking a more premium and spacious travel experience when flying short haul with Aer Lingus," states director of network revenue and loyalty Susanne Carberry.