Welcome to Cleveland Ohio with Aer Lingus
Declan Mescall (Travelbiz features editor) was invited by Aer Lingus and Destination Cleveland to experience the inaugural Aer Lingus direct service to Cleveland Ohio.
An impressive water canon salute greeted the inaugural Aer Lingus flight EI 87 as it touched down on Friday 19 May in Cleveland, Ohio after an on time eight-hour twenty-minute flight from Dublin. The warm welcome for the new DUB-CLE 4 times weekly year round service was supplemented by a special reception held at the gate attended by a host of dignitaries including the Mayor of Cleveland Justin Bibb, Consulate General Irish Embassy (New York) Helena Nolan, City of Cleveland Deputy Chief of Staff Ryan Puente and many others. Aer Lingus Director of Global Sales Bill Byrne and Alison Metcalf from Tourism Ireland (North America) were also among the dignitaries in attendance at Cleveland airport to receive and welcome the new service. Several VIPs then travelled on the return flight to Dublin as part of a significant delegation from Cleveland who will meet with the mayor of Dublin and the U.S Ambassador to Ireland.
Mayor Bibb said, “Cleveland has world-class amenities from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to a world class symphony and orchestra, to the best art museum, I think, in the world.”
As they disembarked the aircraft a special céad míle fáilte from Yvonne Muldoon (Director of Sales Aer Lingus) awaited the Irish travel trade group of Leah Quinn (American Holidays), Imelda McCarthy (Travel Counsellors), Lisa McNamara (Bookabed), Lorraine Crowley (Shandon Travel), Noelle O’Leary (Barter’s Travelnet), Marina Gomez Fernandez (Click&Go) and Declan Mescall (Travelbiz). Our hosts, Jenny Rafter (Head of Global Sales Leisure Aer Lingus) together with Yolanda Fletcher and Emily Lauder (both Destination Cleveland) were busy being welcomed by a large circle of colleagues and business partners. Lorraine was a media star as she gave an interview to the local Cleveland TV station about the sights and experiences our group will enjoy during the Fam trip.