Airports

Published on February 7th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer

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Airbus A319 Makes its Final Journey

An unusual sight on the streets of Limerick City on Friday evening was a convoy with a former Ernest Airlines Airbus A319 making its final journey to the scrap yard. The aircraft had been in storage at Shannon Airport for the past year and with the global downturn in aviation, it was very unlikely the aircraft would find a new operator. The aircraft was built in 2000 and delivered to Iberia in Spain as EC-HKO where it operated for sixteen years before being withdrawn from use.

The nose section on the low-loader on the way to be scrapped. Photos Oísín Tierney.

It was then leased to Italian low cost airline, Ernest Airlines in March 2017 and operated for them until they ceased operations in January 2020. They were founded in 2015 and started operations in April 2017 when they flew from their base in Milan-Malpensa to Tirana in Albania. The airline operated one Airbus A319 and three Airbus A320’s during their three years of operations. The Italian Civil Aviation Authority announced they were suspending their AOC on 13th January 2020 due to lack of required guarantees. Their only Airbus A319, EI-FVG, was ferried Tirana – Verona – Shannon arriving on 10th January for maintenance with Lufthansa Technik and return to lessor. The aircraft remained stored at Shannon for the year and was noted in a hanger at the end of January with many parts removed including its tail fin.

The convoy leaving Shannon Airport heading towards Limerick City. Photos by Oísín Tierney.

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