Aer Lingus To Have Flat Beds On Key Shorthaul European Flights

A breaking story from the Irish Times, it seems that Aer Lingus will be bringing back their real business class on several short-haul flights within Europe.

This is news as whilst Aer Lingus have always had an excellent long-haul business class, they, and like many other European flag carriers, never really offered anything more than a blocked economy seat on their short haul flights for buisness class passengers.

The fact that they might just have flat beds on short-haul routes is really going against the trend we have seen since 2002!

Why is Aer Lingus bringing back short-haul business class seats?

It is actually because Aer Lingus will soon be taking delivery of some new Airbus A321LR aircraft, that have plenty of room onboard for these seats. It has been reported that these planes will have 186 seats in total, including 16 business class seats and 170 economy seats.

a321neo long-range
With the new certifications, the a321LR can now service new routes such as New York to Paris. Image: Airbus

Now, these aircraft are being designed for long-haul transatlantic trips, from Ireland over to North America. But the way it currently works is that these planes arrive early in the morning from the US, and wait around all day to fly back home. So why not fly them within Europe during this time, potentially to drop off on-going passengers or to pick up returning passengers.

You can watch this great video on how trans-Atlantic travel works here:

Essentially, these are long-haul planes flying short-haul routes!

The Aer Lingus CEO, Stephen Kavanagh, had this to say:

“We will have 15 aircraft arriving before 5 am across the Atlantic. At the moment, passengers getting a business class experience across the Atlantic transfer on to an economy aircraft

When we have the LRs going on into Europe, they will now have a business cabin with full lie-flat seat. So they’ll get consistent service from all of the gateways in North America to the principal gateways in Europe.

We expect there to be a lot of demand. The service will be available on a number of flights out of Dublin, including to London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Barcelona, which are among the most popular onward destinations for American travelers.”

Aer lingus A321LR
Aer Lingus will take delivery of their first four A321LRs in 2019

What will the experience be like?

We don’t know for sure yet how the short haul soft product will differ from the long haul business class soft product. Aer Lingus has said they won’t be serving the normal food they do for business long haul, but short-haul food will be given complimentary to business passengers.

What the actual seat will look like we have a little more information. It is rumored that it will be the Thompson VantageSolo design.

Aer Lingus
The possible lie-flat seats on the Aer Lingus A321LR

“Created specifically for single-aisle jets like the A320 and Boeing 737 families, the VantageSolo “offers a fully horizontal flat bed with direct aisle access for every seat” with a baseline 33″ pitch” – Thompson

Aer Lingus
The seats are designed to give direct aisle access to all passengers.

The first of their new A321LR’s arrives in June, and they expect to have a fleet of 8 jets operating this type of service throughout Europe.

Whilst there is not much demand for short-haul business in Europe, this will be a lovely experience for those who are flying onwards to America.

What do you think? Will you be flying the new short-haul business class on Aer Lingus?