LONDON – Irish carrier Aer Lingus has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320neo this week, with the first flights planned for London Heathrow tomorrow.
EI-NSA, the A320neo in question, will operate EI152 from Dublin to London Heathrow, with the second airframe due to be delivered by lessor CDB Aviation later this week.
The first two A320neos will replace two of the carrier’s older A320ceo aircraft, although the registrations for this haven’t been confirmed as of yet.
Rewind Back to June…
On June 27, it was announced that the Irish flag carrier airline and part of IAG, Aer Lingus, has signed a new agreement for its first two Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Becoming a new customer with CDB Aviation, the Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Corporation, Aer Lingus has signed with them to lease two Airbus A320neo (New Engine Option) aircraft.
This is another leap forward for Aer Lingus in achieving IAG’s and worldwide aviation’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.
IAG has committed to achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, as well as a 10% reduction per passenger kilometer by 2025 and then a 20% reduction by 2030.
The two aircraft were supposed to be delivered in July but were delayed for unknown reasons.
They will both be fitted with an all-economy seating configuration of 186 seats, which is 12 more seats than their current fleet of 31 Airbus A320ceos (Current Engine Option), which all have an all-economy seating configuration of 174 seats.
Both of these Airbus A320neos mark Aer Lingus’ first of the type; however, is not their first NEO family aircraft from Airbus, as the carrier does already operate eight Airbus A321LRs (Long Range), one of which operates for the carrier’s British subsidiary, Aer Lingus UK, that operates out of Manchester in the United Kingdom.
At present, Aer Lingus’ A320 fleet operates its short-haul services primarily throughout Europe, whereas the A321LR does a mixture of short, medium, and primarily long-haul services to the East Coast of the United States.
Aer Lingus currently has a total of 65 aircraft, including its subsidiaries.
This is broken down into 31 Airbus A320ceos, seven Airbus A321LRs, 10 Airbus A330-300s, and three Airbus A330-200s that are currently in storage for its mainline Aer Lingus fleet.
For the Aer Lingus UK subsidiary, the carrier has one Airbus A321LR and two Airbus A330-300s, and for its Aer Lingus Regional subsidiary, the carrier has 11 ATR 72-600s.
Aer Lingus, across its subsidiaries, is still expecting a total of six Airbus A320neos (these new two included), six Airbus A321XLRs (Extra Long Range), and one more ATR 72-600.
Aer Lingus can now continue its fleet renewal and sustainable programs with the delivery of these two aircraft, and will slowly but surely expand these aircraft onto different routes.
It is going to be interesting to see how these two new aircraft will perform, and whether it is going to form the foundation for more aircraft in the future.
For Heathrow spotters, this will be something different and unique to see when it continues to operate services in the British capital.