Irish Eyes are Smiling as Aer Lingus Launches Dublin Service

Team NEO Announces Economic Development Mission to Ireland

A delegation of elected officials and civic leaders from the Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio Region will travel to Ireland on Friday, May 19, as part of an economic development mission to strengthen governmental and business connections between the two regions.

The delegation, that includes Team NEO, will be led by City of Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, Cleveland Council President Blaine Griffin, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne, and Cuyahoga County Council President Pernel Jones. They will be joined by leadership from the Greater Cleveland Partnership, JobsOhio, Huntington Bank, and Eaton.  

The elected and civic leaders in this delegation demonstrated the leadership necessary to make this service happen,” said Team NEO Chief Executive Officer Bill Koehler. “We are grateful for their collective effort that enables this opportunity. When private and public sector communities work together, we can drive growth and prosperity throughout the region and create a more vibrant economy.”

In Ireland, the delegation will meet with the Mayor of County Mayo and other civic officials to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the official twinning of Achill Island and the City of Cleveland. The two have a long and close relationship dating back to the 19th century, when many Irish people emigrated to the United States, many of them settling in Cleveland/Irishtown Bend.

When in Dublin, the group will hold a briefing with the U.S. Embassy on trade and commercial activities, meet with the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. The Cleveland delegation will participate in meetings with members of the local business community, Dublin City Council, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy. A business roundtable with Irish companies will discuss how they can grow and expand their business in Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio Region. To close out the trip, they will meet with the Executive Leadership Team at Aer Lingus.

The trip is an opportunity to strengthen economic ties between Cleveland and Ireland. The introduction of the Aer Lingus service to Dublin proves the Cleveland/NEO market is attractive, and the delegation will be promoting the benefits of doing business in the region. “Our business community is very excited to support this Aer Lingus flight. Direct business carrier service to the EU–and from there access to connections throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa–has been a priority to accelerate business growth and to enhance Cleveland’s standing in the global business community,” said Baiju R. Shah, President & CEO of the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

“Aer Lingus’ direct connection from Dublin provides a new gateway for both European leisure and business travelers to explore Cleveland and the state of Ohio,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Destination Cleveland. “It exposes a new audience to our awesome city. These visitors will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, experience our world-class attractions and, ultimately, infuse money into our local economy. The economic development mission is a complement to Destination Cleveland’s marketing efforts that will kick-off in Ireland and the United Kingdom on May 15. We’re excited to have the Cleveland delegation telling Cleveland’s story from all perspectives as Irish consumers see Cleveland advertising.”

After May 19, Aer Lingus will be offering four weekly flights from Dublin, flying the Airbus 321neo aircraft with 16 seats in Business Class and 168 seats in the economy cabin. The new service will bring an estimated $85 million economic impact over the first three years.