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New Exeter Airport link to North America

WATCH: Flights via Dublin

Devon now has an air link to North America, after Ireland airlines Are Lingus and Emerald Airlines introduced a service to the USA and Canada, via Dublin

It means people can now check-in at Exeter Airport, clear US immigration at Dublin Airport, and have their luggage transferred directly to their destination in New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington or Toronto.

Emerald Airlines, which operates Aer Lingus Regional, runs the Exeter-Dublin routes that connects with Aer Lingus’ transatlantic network from Dublin.

Dublin Airport is one of only a few airports outside North America with a US pre-clearance facility. Inbound passengers are treated as domestic arrivals in the US, and so avoid any lengthy immigration queues when they land in the US.

Among those booked on Friday's inaugural flight from Exeter were the Harris family from Barnstaple in North Devon, who were flying to New York for a weekend of entertainment.

Sharon Harris, 52, and her daughters Abi, 24, and Sasha, 22, were excited to be attending a concert by American actor and singer Jeremy Jordan in Newark before heading on to a performance of Moulin Rouge in New York. They arrive back into Devon on Monday.

Also on board was grandmother Hazel Gillard, 71, from Exeter, who was flying to Toronto in Canada to visit her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, aged 11 and eight.

Exeter Airport's managing director Stephen Wiltshire said: “We’re thrilled to see the start of flights from Exeter to North America via Dublin. They open up a range of transatlantic destinations and regional air travel to Ireland for leisure and business passengers. We’re also seeing overseas bookings from people in Ireland and North America keen to explore Devon and the South West. So we expect the new route to be a boost for inbound tourism as well.”

The film report here is from BBC Spotlight

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