Dublin-based national flag carrier of Ireland, Aer Lingus has yesterday taken delivery of Airbus’ last ever A330-300. Sporting the Irish airlines’ new livery and logo, the aircraft registered as EI-EIN took off from Toulouse Friday afternoon heading for Dublin International Airport (DUB).
The new arrival to the IAG-owned carrier’s long-haul fleet brings its total number of A330-300 aircraft to 11.
Aer Lingus to increase summer capacity to North America
According to a press release from Aer Lingus back in November, the Skytrax World Airline four-star winner said that for summer 2020, it would be increasing capacity on its transatlantic flights.
In fact, flights from Dublin to Orlando International Airport (MCO) will increase from four per week to six. Furthermore, its service to Miami International Airport (MIA) will increase by one flight per week, from two to three weekly services.
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On the US west coast, flights from Dublin to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) will go from five times per week to a daily service for the summer schedule.
As well as the above-mentioned routes, the arrival of the new Airbus A330-300 will allow Aer Lingus to increase capacity on its flights to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP).
Aer Lingus replacing its Boeing 757s
On top of the Irish carriers’ new A330-300, Aer Lingus has other fleet adjustments coming. This year it will replace its Boeing 757 fleet in favor of the much more fuel-efficient Airbus A321neo LR.
Commenting on the launch of the 2020 summer schedule, David Shepherd, Chief Commercial Officer, Aer Lingus, said:
“Transatlantic growth continues to be our priority, and this is being realized in 2020 with the increased frequency and capacity on many direct routes from Dublin. Not only does this strengthen Ireland’s connectivity with the United States but it creates a greater, more efficient connection via Dublin for our neighbors in the UK and Europe.”
At a time when other airlines around the world such as TAP Portugal and Etihad are getting rid of their A330-330s and A330-200 for more efficient A330neos and A350s, it is curious as to why Aer Lingus would want a new A330-300 unless they got one hell of a deal from the European planemaker when the order was placed some time in 2018.
For all of us interested in aviation, it is easy to see where the Airbus A321neo LR fits into the Aer Lingus playbook for North America. It automatically replaces the existing Boeing 757 routes while opening up new routes that do not currently have direct flights to the Emerald Isle.
The importance of the American market for Aer Lingus
Between 1820 and 1930, around 4.5 million Irish emigrated to America. Now there are 33 million Americans claiming Irish ancestry – or just over 10%.
Because of these numbers, the United States will always be the bread and butter destinations for Aer Lingus, who must have a firm plan for their newly delivered Airbus A330-300.
It’s possible that the airline needed extra capacity sooner than later and Airbus had the production for the A330-300 available, not leaving Aer Lingus to wait for an A330neo.
Why do you think Aer Lingus opted to take the last Airbus A330-300? We would love to read what you have to say in the comments section!