Aer Lingus Will Fly A321LR To Hartford

Filed Under: Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus just recently announced a rebranding, which comes ahead of some major changes that the airline has planned for this summer.

Aer Lingus will be taking delivery of their very first Airbus A321LR in the second quarter, which will fit very well into their fleet. The airline has 14 of these planes on order, and should take delivery of four of those in 2019.

The A321LR has the range to fly from Ireland to much of the East Coast of North America, so it will largely replace the leased 757s that they currently fly, and will also allow them to expand to new markets.

Anyway, up until now it looked like Aer Lingus’ first transatlantic A321LR route would be to Montreal. The airline is launching daily flights between Dublin and Montreal as of August 8, 2019, and the route is scheduled to be operated by the A321LR.

While that route remains unchanged, it looks like it won’t be the first route to North America to feature the new plane.

Aer Lingus will fly the A321LR to Hartford

As of July 1, 2019, Aer Lingus is scheduled to fly the A321LR between Dublin and Hartford. The airline operates the route daily with the following schedule:

EI131 Dublin to Hartford departing 2:10PM arriving 4:35PM
EI130 Hartford to Dublin departing 6:00PM arriving 5:15AM (+1 day)

Currently the route is operated by a Boeing 757-200, which features 12 business class seats and 165 economy seats. Meanwhile the A321LR will feature 16 business class seats and 168 economy seats, so it represents a capacity increase of four seats in business class and three seats in economy.

Ultimately this isn’t huge news, in the sense that the passenger experience isn’t that different. I’d say the A321LR is a bit better since it’s quieter, the cabin is a bit wider, and the plane features wifi. But otherwise Aer Lingus’ 757s aren’t shabby either, as they feature personal televisions at every seat, and the same business class configuration.

Aer Lingus has fully flat beds in business class. On the A321LR and 757 they’re in an alternating 2-2 and 1-1 configuration.

Aer Lingus’ business class seat

I can’t wait to try Aer Lingus’ new A321LR!

How to redeem miles on Aer Lingus

If you want to redeem miles for this flight, Aer Lingus does have some business class award seats available. There are two best ways to redeem miles on these flights:

  • You can redeem United MileagePlus miles, at the cost of 32,500 miles one-way in economy, or 70,000 miles one-way in business class; you can include connecting flights on both ends, including on Star Alliance airlines
  • You can redeem Avios (British Airways Avios are the easiest), and the costs vary based on whether you’re traveling peak or off-peak — the route should cost 13,000-20,000 Avios one-way in economy, or 50,000-60,000 Avios one-way in business class

Bottom line

It’s nice to see that Aer Lingus’ A321LR will begin transatlantic operations as of early July 2019, which is more than a month earlier than expected. While I’m booked on the Montreal route for August, I’ll try to take the Hartford flight in July. I wonder if Aer Lingus will also start flying the A321LRs within Europe in July, as this will signify the reintroduction of intra-Europe business class for the airline.

  1. I’ve flown EI A330 in J between DUB and GLA/EDI during the busy Christmas period, they also fly them to sun destinations like Faro and Malaga. None of these are sold as business class. You generally get assigned those if on a flex fare or are connecting onto a proper J TATL service out of DUB. I’d imagine it will be the same with A321LR, it’s just basic fleet utilisation rather than the reintroduction of intra-Europe business class. As a value carrier that is just not EI’s business model.

  2. I wonder how much of a subsidy Aer Lingus is getting from Hartford or the Connecticut state government? Hartford had Norwegian service, if my memory serves correct, but that was eliminated.

  3. My housemate actually flies this route a lot. His husband lives in Dublin and they will be long long distance for 6 more months until he moved back.

  4. I didn’t know this route was daily frequency – is there actually demand for this route? And will it stay once the subsidies end?

  5. @ majik- they’ve officially announced that it is a reintroduction of business

    @ JDS – it gets a fair amount of demand as it’s the only TATL route from BDL, and unlike D8’s flight to EDI, Aer Lingus can connect to London and the like

    Lucky airlineroute reported on twitter that they’re opperating the A321LR to CDG from 27 Oct 2019, you can see it on google flights for 2 of the morning flights

  6. @majik

    EI also used to fly 747s between Heathrow and Ireland at Christmas time back in the 1980’s. How awesome that would have been.

  7. @FNT Delta Diamond

    Under a new agreement unveiled in september, DECD reduced its revenue guarantee from $4.5 million down to no more than $3.8 million in year two; not more than $3 million in year three; and not more than $2 million in year four. In total, the maximum four-year potential subsidy is worth $13.3 million. Aer Lingus also agreed to operate the service in the fifth and sixth years with no subsidy from the state.

  8. @KNmk23 – so is this route viable or not?

    I no longer live near BDL, but when I talk to the people at the escape lounge BDL (real nice folks!) they tell me that the flight is successful. I am not sure how to tell what the loads on it are like. I have a tough time thinking it is wildly successful since business travelers may prefer to take a car service to BOS/JFK for direct access to whichever European city they want rather than connecting at DUB.

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