The Airbus A321LR first joined Aer Lingus’ facilities in July 2019. With the aircraft heavily active across the skies, Simple Flying recently caught up with the flag carrier of Ireland’s chief customer officer, Susanne Carberry, to talk about the advantages of holding this twinjet.
Airbus’ long-range narrowbody has proven to be a powerhouse when it comes to transatlantic hops. This time last year, we reported that 75% of traffic over the Atlantic Ocean became operated by the A321.
An airline that sees plenty of value in the type is Aer Lingus, which holds seven A321LRs in Ireland and another in the United Kingdom. With an average age of around just two years, these aircraft will play an important long-term role for the airline.
From Dublin, Shannon, and Manchester, these aircraft have been busy flying over the ocean to the likes of New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, and Toronto in recent weeks. They are supported by other A320 family narrowbodies and A330 widebodies across Aer Lingus’ broader network.
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Carberry highlights that feedback on the A321LR’s service has been positive. She particularly notes the efficiency and comfort to be had on such a plane.
“The aircraft brings many benefits including, 50% reduction in noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft; greater fuel-efficiency compared to previous generation aircraft, with a 15% reduction in fuel burn, compared to a A321ceo; improved aerodynamic design with a single aisle; 168 economy seat layout and 16 spacious business class seats. Overall, feedback from customers has been very positive, with Aer Lingus customers receiving the same high level of service on this newer generation aircraft.”
Altogether, Aer Lingus is determined to be the airline of choice for passengers heading between Europe and North America. Thus, the recent addition of Manchester will combine with the airline’s other sites, including the Dublin hub, to seamlessly connect passengers across the Atlantic. The A321LR will continue to play a key role in this setup.
As Carberry summarizes:
“Our hub at Dublin Airport enables our customers to benefit from clearing US Customs and Immigration before their flight which has been and will continue to be a huge draw. Operating transatlantic flights direct from Manchester responds to a demand for direct travel. The success of Aer Lingus’ Manchester based operations is part of the airline’s ambitious network expansion, offering yet more choice of routes and destinations.”
So, the A321LR will see plenty more action in this next chapter. With routes such as Bridgetown, Barbados, returning, the aircraft will be transporting passengers for their dose of winter sun in the season ahead. While the A330 will fill in for the A321LR on the Manchester-New York route next summer, this could be a hint to free up the latter on other services.
Moreover, the Airbus A321XLR is expected to be ready for passenger carrying flights by 2024. The carrier is expecting six units of this model. With a range of up to 8,700 km (4,700 NM) that edges the A321LR by 1,600 km (700 NM), we can expect further transatlantic expansion with narrowbody aircraft this decade.
Overall, the A321LR has shown that it is a valuable solution for certain long-distance missions, especially during the ever-changing conditions of the aviation industry. For instance, during the earlier period of the pandemic, when passenger loads were lower, the narrowbody option would have been the perfect option for balanced economics.
In the current era, when every penny counts due to high fuel costs and other unexpected challenges, the A321LR’s efficiency will remain integral to Aer Lingus’ business mode.
What are your thoughts about Aer Lingus’ operations with the Airbus A321LR? What do you make of the overall prospects with the aircraft? Let us know what you think of the carrier and the plane in the comment section.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Full Service Carrier
- Dublin Airport
- Year Founded:
- Airline Group:
- Lynne Embleton