Published on March 18th, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer


Delays to Aer Lingus A321LR Deliveries

Aer Lingus have announced planned changes to North American services for summer 2019, due to A321LR delivery delays. The Dublin-Montreal route re-opening has been deferred from 8th August to summer 2020 while other routes have suffered frequency reductions for the month of July. They include:

  • Dublin-Hartford from 7 to 6 weekly
  • Dublin-Minneapolis/St. Paul from 7 to 5 weekly
  • Dublin-Philadelphia from 7 to 5 weekly
  • Shannon-New York from 6 to 4 weekly

The Dublin-Hartford service currently operated by a Boeing 757 will switch to an A321LR from 2nd August, delayed from 1st July. The daily Dublin-Philadelphia service will switch to an A321LR from 1st September. 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.”

The A321LR is a longer range variant of the A321neo, which Airbus predicts provides an overall 25–30% lower operating cost than the Boeing 757 on routes of up to 4,100nm where a wide-body would be uneconomical. A321neo weight variant with increased MTOW of 97 tonnes – often called A321LR or sometimes A321neoLR (LR = long-range) – transports 206 passengers in a two-class layout with increased range to 4,000 nm (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) by using three additional 2,990 L fuel tanks.

In addition to the A321LR expansion on the North Atlantic, Lander Dominguez Ruiz, Aer Lingus Director of Fleet Assets, confirmed Aer Lingus is to receive two additional A330s in 2020.  The ambition is to complete fleet repainting by 2021.

IAG Passenger Figures for February

Aer Lingus passenger numbers in February 2019 were up 8.0% on January 2018 to 658,000.  Traffic (RPK)  was 13.8% up with passenger load factor 68.7%, down 2.5 points. Cargo carried (RTK) was up 36%.

For IAG as a whole, passenger numbers were up 6.1% to 7.75m, with traffic up 6.3% with a 4.4% increase on International European routes and a 9.5% increase on North American routes.  The Group passenger load factor was 79.6%, down 0.1 points, with International Europe at 79.4%, down 0.2 points, and North America 72.7%, up 0.6 0.1 points. Cargo was up 1.3%.

BA passenger numbers were up 2.4%, traffic was up 1.4% and passenger load factor was 78.2%, up 0.2 points. Iberia passenger numbers were up 8.8%,  traffic up 11.9% and passenger load factor was 85.3%, down 0.2 points. LEVEL passenger load factor was 78.6%. Vueling passenger numbers were up 6.5%, traffic was up 6.5% and passenger load factor was 84.1%, up 0.9 points.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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