Aer Lingus today (23 April) achieved milestone of 30 years Airbus A330 operations currently 15 Airbus A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft under Irish and UK AOC’s. In an Linkedin Post Airbus stated “Celebrating 30 years since #AerLingus welcomed its first #Airbus, the #A330! We would like to thank all who have contributed to its success. Looking forward to the next 30 years. Go raibh maith agat Aer Lingus as do mhuinín.”

The first transatlantic service took place on 16th May 1994 when EI-SHN operated flight EIN105 Shannon-Dublin-JFK. the A330 entered full service on 1st June 1994 with two aircraft, EI-SHN and EI-DUB, operating daily services on the Shannon-JFK and Dublin-JFK routes (Irish Air Letter May 2019).

In May 2020 in an historic moment Aer Lingus received the last commercial built Airbus A330-300, registered EI-EIN msn 1951 named ‘St Dallan / Dallán’.

The Airbus A330 was specifically built to meet the requirements of Air Inter whom placed an order for 15 aircraft plus 15 options for high density domestic French routes.

After an extensive evaluation of aircraft economics and market opportunities Aer Lingus selected the Airbus A330-300 aircraft to replace it’s fleet of Boeing 747’s. Mr Conor McCarthy now CEO of PlaneConsult, Chairman Dublin Aerospace, Executive Chairman Emerald Airlines, managed the introduction of the Airbus A330 into the fleet enabling retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet.

Under Conor’s leadership Aer Lingus reached agreement with key suppliers on the Airbus A330 programme Airbus, General Electric and aircraft lessor ILFC on the A330 which would be transformational in terms of operating economics, making the North Atlantic profitable with fuel burn 25% lower than Boeing 747 and 50% greater cargo capacity, spearheading A330 ETOPS operations.

The A330 was deployed on a variety of missions during Covid 19 global pandemic including operating an six times weekly service on Dublin to London Heathrow in addition to operating long haul cargo missions from Dublin to Atlanta, Miami and New York JFK and Dublin direct to Beijing to collect PPE supplies on behalf of HSE, with a structural payload of 42.2 tonnes with a selection of pallet configurations according to operational requirements.

To meet summer season demand A330s operate from Dublin to Faro and Malaga and during winter season was deployed operating Verona weekly for peak ski season. The Airbus A330-300 will remain the mainstay of Aer Lingus operations for many years with the aircraft offering very attractive operating costs per seat with the versatility to cover all ranges from short-haul to long-haul.

Irish Independent 15 March reported Aer Lingus ambition to grow its transatlantic fleet of Airbus A330 fleet from the current 13 units on Irish AOC to about 20 units.

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