This year saw Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus celebrate 85 years since commencing services in May 1936. The airline is known for its distinctive green shamrock logo, which can presently be found on a total of 56 aircraft. But which exact models comprise Aer Lingus’s fleet? Let’s take a closer look at the make-up of the Irish flag carrier’s all-Airbus operations.
Many European carriers’ short-haul fleets consist entirely of either Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 family aircraft. This uniformity offers airlines greater operational efficiency and flexibility when it comes to aspects like aircraft swaps. In the case of Aer Lingus, the Irish flag carrier favors the A320 family. According to ch-aviation.com, it flies 42 A320ceo/neo family aircraft.
These planes account for 75% of Aer Lingus’s current fleet, and the standard A320-200 is by far the most numerous model. There are 31 examples of this twinjet from the Airbus A320ceo (‘Current Engine Option) range in the Irish flag carrier’s fleet, with an average age of 15 years old. It also operates three aging A321-200s, whose average age is 22.2 years old.
However, the end appears near for these aircraft, as they are all presently in storage per ch-aviation’s data. At the more modern end of the spectrum, Aer Lingus flies eight aircraft from the next-generation A320neo (‘New Engine Option) family. These are all examples of the stretched fuselage, long-range A321LR, and are just one year old on average.
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In terms of widebody aircraft, 25% of Aer Lingus’s current fleet, or 14 aircraft, falls under this category. The all-Airbus theme continues in this domain, with the A330 family being the sole representative of the twin-aisle cause at the Irish flag carrier.
The oldest A330s in Aer Lingus’s fleet are its three A330-200s. Clocking in at 18.1 years old on average, these aircraft, like the Irish flag carrier’s aging A321-200s, are also all in storage at present. Historically speaking, Aer Lingus has flown another two A330-200s.
Aer Lingus’s remaining 11 A330s are examples of the -300 variant, and nine of these aircraft are currently active. Their average age is a comparatively youthful 8.2 years old, and they have 317 seats in a two-class setup according to SeatGuru (30 business, 287 economy).
It is also worth taking a look at what the future holds for the Irish flag carrier. For example, it has six Airbus A321XLRs on order, which will unlock various useful long-haul markets where demand doesn’t warrant an A330. This represents an increasing trend in long-haul travel. Aer Lingus is already a big fan of the A321LR’s long-haul capabilities, and states that:
“The A321neo LR facilitates long-range routes of up to 7400 km or 4000 NM. This aircraft is ideally positioned in the Aer Lingus fleet to serve both transatlantic and European routes.”
.@AerLingus no longer has any A350s on order, reports @cirium Dashboard. According to @MROreporter, the airline has transferred the five remaining A350-900s it had on order since 2008 to an unidentified customerhttps://t.co/tKNFdDCQVm (sub needed) pic.twitter.com/nZawyLRieE
— Max Kingsley-Jones (@MaxK_J) July 13, 2021
Until recently, the Irish flag carrier also had five Airbus A350-900s on order. These would have helped modernize its small but effective widebody fleet. However, as reported by Simple Flying earlier this week, Aer Lingus is no longer set to receive these planes. The order, which dates back to 2008, has now been transferred to an undisclosed customer.
Have you ever flown with Aer Lingus? What’s your favorite aircraft type in the Irish flag carrier’s current fleet? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!