Aer Lingus A321LR Delivery Delays: Montreal Route Postponed, And More

Filed Under: Aer Lingus

It’s supposed to be an exciting year for Aer Lingus. The airline is undergoing a brand refresh, and they’ve been growing consistently and profitably.

The most exciting development for the airline this year is supposed to be that they’re taking delivery of their first Airbus A321LR. The airline has eight of these planes on order, and these fuel efficient narrowbody planes will allow them to expand their transatlantic network even further.

In terms of longhaul operations, the A321LR was supposed to debut between Dublin and Hartford as of July 1, 2019, and then next was supposed to operate Aer Lingus’ new route between Dublin and Montreal as of August 8, 2019.

Well, unfortunately it looks like this plan is falling apart.

Aer Lingus has today announced some aircraft delivery delays. The airline is still expecting to take delivery of their first four A321LRs in 2019 (as originally scheduled), but two are now due in “late summer,” while the other two are expected in fall.

What are the impacts of this?

  • Aer Lingus is canceling their new route to Montreal, and they say the route will now launch in summer 2020
  • Aer Lingus is temporarily reducing frequencies on four transtlantic routes in July, including Dublin to Philadelphia, Dublin to Minneapolis, Dublin to Hartford, and Shannon to New York

Aer Lingus says that all guests on affected flights are being accommodated on alternative flights.

The way I even found out about these changes is that I had booked the Montreal to Dublin route using British Airways Avios, and I just received a flight cancelation notice, without any sort of alternative presented.

Interestingly the Dublin to Hartford flight continues to show the A321LR as operating starting in July, though my guess is that they just haven’t updated that yet, and that the flight will likely be operated by a 757-200, as it currently is. It’s unlikely they’ll have an A321LR by early July.

So as of now it seems like the delivery delays should just be for a month or two, and shouldn’t be too major. At least that’s the case as of now.

Anyone else impacted by these Aer Lingus flight cancelations?

  1. Link here explains they are expecting to receive all 4 deliveries as expected this year, but all delayed. Two at the end of the summer, and two in the fall.

    When do their 757 leases expire? Im sure they are forced to cover those routes with the two frames as the 757s leave the fleet and hence the reduced frequencies on 757 routes. Rumor on the street this is an issue with Airbus causing this, but not sure why other carriers arent being effected to this extent if thats the case.

  2. Air Transat was supposed to have delays as well with the A321LR, but in the end, Airbus will deliver on time in May.

  3. I’m assuming EI will offer a refund, or just transfer Montreal passengers to AC’s non-stop service from DUB-YUL. That is operated by a 737 MAX in domestic configuration though, so J customers will find themselves in a standard recliner seat akin to US first class. Other options might be that they switch them to EI from DUB-YYZ and then a connection to YUL, or BA through LHR…

  4. @Lucky – On a related note, I saw some billboards by Cleveland Hopkins Airport over the weekend stating “Aer Lingus Failte Cleveland.” The word Failte in Irish means welcome. I was surprised when i saw this as I have not heard any rumors pointing to a new trans-Atlantic route. On the surface the route does make some sense as Greater Clevelanders claiming Irish ancestry was around 449,500 people in 2010 and the city can throw a great St. Patrick’s Day party.

  5. Ben- I‘m in the smae boat as you regarding a BA redemption for YUL-DUB. Can you share the best options for further course of action? I am for example unwilling to pay more avios to route via YYZ or BOS/NYC….

  6. Yeah, I got the cancellation notice for all 6 of us for late August. Will call tomorrow to see what they can do. Looks like similar times are available on BA through London and hopefully, they shouldn’t have too much trouble opening up seats.

  7. Update: I’ve called BA and they gave me 2 options: either full refund or re-route via LHR on BA, but subject to avios award availability as well as the difference in avios and taxes (which would be huge)… they would simply waiver the change fee… really disappointing in my opinion. If one has a confirmed ticket from A to B, and the airline cancels a flight, it should be the airline’s responsibility to rebook me at their expense…

  8. @PW Im pretty sure whoever you booked through has to put you onto another flight for no extra cost.

  9. This is an absolute mess.

    I am booked on both the MSP and YUL inaugural flights and just got the cancellation message.
    But when I checked on expertflyer, I found out that the MSP flight has now moved up to July 6 and the flight on July 8 is cancelled. As of this point, I am confused. I have a feeling that Aer Lingus is a mess too so I will wait for a few days before calling them to change flight.

  10. @kevin
    I booked directly via BA.
    They said I can book another YUL-DUB flight later in the year at no extra cost, but subject to avios award availability, which is ridiculous. If I want to fly on my booked date of travel, they would just refund for free or waive the change fee if I find avios availabilty via LHR (which obviously doesnt exist now for peak summer travel), but I would also have to pay the difference in avios and taxes for flying via LHR, which is plain ridiculous….

  11. Update:
    Received this email from aer lingus directly.

    “Dear Guest,

    Regrettably, aircraft delivery delays have necessitated Aer Lingus to postpone the commencement of the Montreal to Dublin service on which you were due to travel.

    Please contact our dedicated support team on +3531 886 8989, who will arrange your travel with an alternative airline, at no additional cost.

    Alternatively, should you prefer a refund; we will arrange that immediately.

    Aer Lingus wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused.

    Yours sincerely,
    Aer Lingus ”

    I am confused now, as I thought the issuing carrier (my case BA) has to rebook me and not the operating carrier (EI)….

  12. @PW

    Have the same problem. BA won’t rebook. I refused to cancel the ticket for the time being, as sometimes waiting a few days may result in resolution in our favor.

    EI probably can’t reissue BA’s ticket. But worth trying give them a call since you got an email. I did not receive such email. Would be interesting to know what EI tells you.

  13. It seems to me, reading the EU rules, that they have to give us the choice of 3 options, cancel for a refund, reroute for free, or travel at a later date. I don’t think that reroute and charge us way more is an option that is allowed.

  14. Here’s the EU rule set.

    Summary –
    1. Does apply to FF tickets
    2. Does apply even if cancellation is notified more than 14 days out (but cash compensation is only if cancelled within 14 days)
    3. It is the OPERATING carrier that has to accommodate the pax, with either refund or reroute at no extra cost.

    Will give EI a call and see.

    Article 3


    1. This Regulation shall apply:

    (a) to passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies;

    (b) to passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the Treaty applies, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that third country, if the operating air carrier of the flight concerned is a Community carrier.

    2. Paragraph 1 shall apply on the condition that passengers:

    (a) have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation referred to in Article 5, present themselves for check-in,

    – as stipulated and at the time indicated in advance and in writing (including by electronic means) by the air carrier, the tour operator or an authorised travel agent,

    or, if no time is indicated,

    – not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time; or

    (b) have been transferred by an air carrier or tour operator from the flight for which they held a reservation to another flight, irrespective of the reason.

    3. This Regulation shall not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public. However, it shall apply to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme or other commercial programme by an air carrier or tour operator.

    4. This Regulation shall only apply to passengers transported by motorised fixed wing aircraft.

    5. This Regulation shall apply to any operating air carrier providing transport to passengers covered by paragraphs 1 and 2. Where an operating air carrier which has no contract with the passenger performs obligations under this Regulation, it shall be regarded as doing so on behalf of the person having a contract with that passenger.

    6. This Regulation shall not affect the rights of passengers under Directive 90/314/EEC. This Regulation shall not apply in cases where a package tour is cancelled for reasons other than cancellation of the flight.

  15. @PE as per British Airways website:

    “Cancelled flights
    We will rebook you onto another British Airways flight at no extra charge (subject to availability). In most cases, we will automatically rebook your flight but you can change this if it’s not suitable.”

  16. @Kevin
    (subject to availability) is written, meaning in BA’s mind there has to be business class avios availability I was told?!? WTF
    This is a real mess… I will call EI today to get their options.
    It was mentioned previously the operating carrier must rebook, however according to BA that isnt the case… we shall see.
    Will keep you updated.

  17. Update 2: Just received another email from BA:

    Dear Customer,

    We regret to inform you that at least one of your flights booked with reference LYXB3S has been cancelled.

    Please click here to view your itinerary

    To access your reservation, just enter your booking reference and the surname of one of the passengers.

    Please call your local Service Centre to find an alternative for you.

    Click here for our local telephone numbers

    We will do our best to assist you.

    Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    Yours sincerely,

    British Airways Customer Services

  18. Finally got a reply from Aer Lingus…

    The start date for Minneapolis St Paul flight will move up to July 1 now. The flight on July 8 will be cancelled so anyone can move up to July 1 or one of the earlier dates if they desire.
    Unfortunately I am still in Asia so I can’t take that flight. So my plan to fly two EI inaugural flights in 2019 is gone.

  19. Just thought I should circle back and update. I called BA today and they had no issues rerouting us through London on BA flights. Leave 35 minutes earlier and get in 2 hours and 40 minutes later, but not a bad result for 6 of us, all in all.

  20. I was booked on the YUL-DUB in September and called in to BA for options. I requested to be rerouted at no extra cost in miles/fees or to be refunded. The agent rebooked me YUL-LHR-DUB in BA business class. While I was really looking forward to flying direct from Montreal, this is a suitable alternative. I hope those of you who are being asked to cover fees are able to avoid it!

  21. I only found out by complete accident, had paid the fare deposit and went onto the site to pay the remaining balance, it was due on April 10th. No Notification on that the flight was cancelled, rang their reservations number and was told that we could REQUEST a refund. As a self employed business man, I had reluctantly turned down work for my trip to Montreal on the 8th of August, this is something I cant afford to do. Aer Lingus made no attempt to contact me and have offered no support at all. Bad bad way of doing business.

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