The land of Rocky, the Fresh Prince and Philly Cheese Steaks is now only a plane ride away.

If you’re planning a US holiday this summer, there’s a new direct option to pick from today.

Aer Lingus’ inaugural service direct to Philadelphia took flight at 1.40pm on Sunday 25th March from Dublin Airport. Flight EI115 was operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft carrying the registration EI-LBS and named Saint Columbanus.

Chief Pilot 757 Captain Con Murphy, First Officer Susan Mc Gennis, Senior Cabin Crew Suzanne Earley, Cabin Crew Kassie Mcevoy, Cabin Crew Richard Flynn, Cabin Crew Jamie Walsh. Image credit: Eoin McGirlÊ

Water cannon salute at Philadelphia International Airport. Image Credit: PHL Airport

Philadelphia is the first of two new transatlantic routes to be launched by Aer Lingus for summer 2018. Operating four times weekly to start, the Dublin-Philadelphia service will increase to daily from 18 May 2018. In May Aer Lingus will begin Ireland’s first direct service to Seattle which will be airline’s 15th direct route out of Ireland to North America.

Aer Lingus have launched five new direct services to the US the last 24 months – Los Angeles, Newark, Hartford, Miami and now Philadelphia.

Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Thinking about a holiday to Philly? Here’s why it could be your next top destination:

Philadelphia is the 9th most visited city in the United States welcoming over 30 million domestic and international visitors annually. Those planning a visit to ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ will be spoiled for things see and do from visiting the famously cracked Liberty Bell and Independence Hall to taking in the many murals the city walls has to offer and of course, sampling the local delicacy – a Philly Cheese Steak!

Liberty Bell

Morgan’s Pier. Photo by M. Edlow for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

History buffs will be particularly interested in seeing all the ‘firsts’ that Philadelphia has to offer including America’s first Zoo, first hospital, first public library, first art museum and first Mint. Another must visit is Betsy Ross House, the home of the seamstress who sewed the very first American flag.

Film fans will be excited to walk around spotting scenes from their favourite movies as the city is also the backdrop to many critically-acclaimed films including Tom Hank’s Philadelphia, the Sixth Sense and of course, the Rocky movies. No trip would be complete without recreating the famous Rocky Run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art or a visit to West Philadelphia, where the Fresh Prince was born and raised.

Time to get training for our best Rocky moments!