Published on April 7th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer0
Aer Lingus Places Fleet in Storage
Aer Lingus have placed most of their short haul fleet in storage as the effects of the Coronavirus virus plays havoc with travel plans. Aer Lingus started to park up their Airbus A320’s at various airports around Ireland with two at George Best Belfast City Airport, four in Shannon and five in Cork Airport. There are currently twelve Airbus A320’s parked at Dublin Airport with a few more expected to be parked up this week as the short haul network is reduced even further. The only routes Aer Lingus are expected to keep operating from this week is to Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Manchester. They had been continuing to operate services to Germany and France up to last week to enable passengers to be repatriated but numbers had been decreasing on these routes.
All the Airbus A321’s have been placed in storage at Dublin Airport along with one of the new Airbus A321LR’s. The other three remain operational most on the Dublin-Heathrow service.
The long haul Airbus A330’s continue to remain in service to operate the medical supply flights to Beijing. Aer Lingus are continuing to operate the EI-105 to New York daily, with reduced services on the Chicago and Boston routes. These are mostly to enable the cargo supply to continue as Aer Lingus would normally carry considerable amounts of cargo in the hold of these flights. The only passengers being carried are US citizens returning home as foreign nationals are no longer allowed enter the US during the Coronavirus crisis.
It is likely that Aer Lingus will place at least two of their Airbus A330-200’s in long term storage and another A330-300 which was in the process of being acquired from Qatar Airways no longer being put into service. This aircraft was recently painted in the full Aer Lingus livery at Dublin Airport by IAC and has remained stored pending transfer from Qatar Airways but is now likely to return to Doha for continuing storage.
Most of the Stobart Air fleet of ATR aircraft that operate regional routes for Aer Lingus have been placed in storage at Kerry Airport. However, Stobart Air will continue to operate the PSO routes from Dublin to Kerry and Donegal respectively. These have been cut down to a daily service and the overnight service has been cut out as there is no overnight accommodation available for the crews.
As the situation remains fluid regarding the COVID-19 crisis, the number of aircraft operating will probably change over the coming days and weeks and hopefully the aviation business can recover in the months ahead.
Photos supplied by DRamp