Aer Lingus is expanding its short-haul fleet, having signed a lease agreement with Airbus for an initial two new A320neo planes, but also has plans to bolster its long-haul fleet.
The move is initially aimed at boosting Aer Lingus’ capacity on its key Dublin-London Heathrow route.
Aer Lingus said it continues to grow its fleet and expects to acquire a further two A320neo aircraft in 2023.
It also has plans to boost its fleet with six Airbus A321neo XLR aircraft, a longer-range variant of the A321neo LR which will enable further growth of Aer Lingus’ transatlantic network.
The two initial new aircraft will be delivered in full Aer Lingus livery, branding and cabin interior. They will complement the airline’s A321neo LR aircraft, eight of which have been added to the Aer Lingus transatlantic fleet in recent years.
The two new A320neo aircraft will join the Aer Lingus fleet for short haul operations and will predominantly operate the Dublin-London Heathrow route.
The A320neo aircraft are expected to enter into service towards the end of next month.
The new generation aircraft will also support Aer Lingus’ sustainability programme where the airline, as part of IAG, has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and has committed to powering 10% of its flights using sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
The Airbus A320neo delivers up to 20% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions and close to 50% reduction in noise footprint when compared to the previous generation aircraft, A320ceo.
There is also a greater density of seats on the A320neo aircraft, 186 versus 174 on the previous generation A320neo, resulting in lower fuel emissions per seat/passenger on board.
Aer Lingus Chief Executive Lynne Embleton said: “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, these more environmentally-friendly aircraft incur lower landing charges in some key airports, so the new A320neos will help us to reduce costs,” Ms Embleton said.
The deal was signed with CDB Aviation, a wholly-owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co. Limited (CDB Leasing).