LONDON – Irish Carrier Aer Lingus has announced that its Airbus A321LR aircraft have been delayed.
This means that the carrier will now have to postpone the launch of its new Dublin to Montreal service back until summer 2020 after it was originally due to start on August 8.
In addition to the delay in the delivery the carrier also announced that it would be reducing frequency on four of their transatlantic routes over July, with Dublin to Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St Paul, Connecticut and Shannon to JFK all seeing a reduction in-flight services.
A spokesperson told the Irish Independent: “We are still expecting the first two aircraft to be ready for commercial operation in late summer, with the other two scheduled to arrive later in 2019.”
“As there is no equivalent aircraft to the A321LR neo in the market at the moment, leasing in an aircraft on a short-term basis was not deemed suitable.”
While the delay is not ideal it would appear that it will not affect the airline’s plans to continue to expand its transatlantic fleet with up to 30 aircraft by 2023.
Dublin Airport has started to become a gateway into North American destinations from Europe ever since the BREXIT vote.
When the airline held an event in January to launch their new livery after Joining IAG the airlines COO Mike Rutter said: “The airlines new business model would see 50 per cent of its passenger using Dublin as a connecting gateway to North America from Europe.”
The airline chose the A321LR specifically for the transatlantic operations and in doing so, replacing its Boeing 757s and Airbus A330 over time.
It will produce better efficiencies than the current long-haul modes of operation.
It will no doubt produce the same level of reliability and success that Arkia Israel Airlines have had with the A321LR.
All in all, it would appear that despite the possibility of another delivery delay for the A321LR that Aer Lingus is in a position where they can weather out the delay.
Whilst it will cause disruption, it remains clear that demand for the Aer Lingus product with this new aircraft variant on the way remains strong to deliver.