LONDON – On June 27, it has been 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.
Their New NEOs…
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.
Both aircraft are expected to be delivered to Aer Lingus in July 2022.
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) that 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 primarily their short-haul services throughout Europe, whereas the A321LR does a mixture of short, medium but primarily long haul services to the East Coast of the United States.
Aer Lingus has currently a total of 65 aircraft including its subsidiaries. This is broken down as, 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.
Commenting on the new agreement, CDB Aviation’s Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Goodman, says, “We are very pleased to be joining our new European customer, Aer Lingus, on their flight path toward a carbon-neutral future through the financing of their inaugural A320neos.”
“These latest-generation aircraft will well complement Aer Lingus’ strategic investments in their future fuel-efficient, modern fleet.”
Aer Lingus’ Chief Executive Officer, Lynne Embleton, has also commented on the new agreement saying, “This is a great opportunity to bring new, state-of-the-art aircraft into our short-haul fleet. Renewing our fleet is one of the key ways for Aer Lingus to meet our sustainability targets, which is a priority for us over the coming years.”
“The new generation Airbus A320neo aircraft is much more sustainable in terms of fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and this is not only important to Aer Lingus but also to our customers. Equally, the more environmentally friendly aircraft incur lower landing charges in some key airports so these new A320neos will help us to reduce costs.”
CDB Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Hannigan, also added, “Our teams worked hand in hand to expediently execute this transaction as an important element of the Irish flag carrier’s recovery plan from the impact of the pandemic on air travel.”
“The A320neo’s operating advantages will also further strengthen Aer Lingus’ leading position among European airlines in enhancing connectivity with a focus on improving efficiency and reducing aviation’s environmental footprint.”