Aer Lingus took delivery of its first two aircraft Airbus A320-251N neo aircraft (registration EI-NSA msn 10712 , named Saint Thomas and EI-NSB msn 10786,  named St. Aidan / Aodhan which entered service on 28th September and 3 October operating to London Heathrow as EIN152/3 and EIN184/151 respectively.

EI-NSB A320-251N operated to Milan Malpensa as EIN432/3 on 22 October.

Aer Lingus had a short-haul fleet of 37 pre pandemic and this year the fleet stood at 33 with the two new A320neo’s leased from CDB Aviation.

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 previous generation aircraft, A320ceo. There is a greater density of seats (186) on the A320neo aircraft resulting lower fuel emissions per seat/passenger on board.

At Joint Committee on Transport and Communications debate Wednesday, 5 October on recent Issues concerning Aer Lingus flight booking and check-in Services. Aer Lingus CEO  Lynne Embleton gave an insight on their short-haul fleet replacement and growth plans.

In response to Senators and TD questions relating to short-haul Aer Lingus CEO  Lynne Embleton said “On short-haul services, we are not considering growth alone because we also need to replace the aircraft we have.  My (CEO) first priority is to secure replacement aircraft and make a business case to replace the short-haul fleet.

There were 37 aircraft. We had leased in three others to grow the operation. We were effectively operating 40 aircraft and that was the peak.

I think we will see market growth in the industry. That is what I fully expect to happen. In the case of short haul, we took advantage of two leased aeroplanes to go back up to 33.

I expect that the market will develop. As that happens, I would like to grow our short-haul business with it. We will look at that on a case-by-case basis. As long as we think we can get a return on the aircraft, we would like to grow.

The market is seasonal. As we are looking to add aircraft in the fleet, we need to be confident that it can pay for itself on a year-round basis and not just two or three months of the summer peak. The seasonality and off-peak demand is an important part of our considerations when we are looking to make a case to acquire more aircraft”  ma

Aer Lingus Chief Corporate Affairs Officer  Donal Moriarty added “Every aircraft that we add to our fleet has to be justified by a business case and it has to make commercial sense, as does the specific deployment of that aircraft.”

On 27 October the International Airlines Group (IAG)  confirmed an order for 37 additional A320neo aircraft, following shareholder approval. The latest order follows earlier agreements for 22 A320neo Family (17 A320neos, 5 A321neos) announced in March and June 2022, taking the total for the year to 59 A3201/1neo aircraft.

Aviation website reveals the reduction of Aer Lingus short-haul fleet during the global pandemic.

EI-CPC Airbus A321-211 msn 926 stored Lasham 2021 registered as VP-CBS to BBAM

EI-CPG Airbus A321-211 msn 1023 stored Lasham 2021 registered as VP-CBL to BBAM

EI-CPH Airbus A321-211 msn 1094 stored Lasham 2021 registered as VP-CBO to BBAM

EI-DEA Airbus A320-214 msn 2191 retuned to JLPS January 2021 to Allegiant Air as N290NV

EI-DEB Airbus A320-214 msn 2206 retuned to JLPS January 2021 to Allegiant Air as N291NV

EI-DEC Airbus A320-214 msn 2217 returned to AerCap registered to Wilmington Trust Company as VP-CAV ,  broken up May 2022 at Lourdes.

Read Joint Committee on Transport and Communications debate here

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