Aer Lingus Transatlantic A321LR Routes Coming Next Summer

Filed Under: Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus has done an impressive job with the way in which they’ve grown their transatlantic route network. Until a few years ago the airline was struggling financially, while now the airline has managed to become profitable while growing.

For example, here are some of their new transatlantic routes in the past few years:

The airline has a longhaul fleet consisting of 13 Airbus A330s and five Boeing 757s (which are leased).

For now the airline is maxed out on expansion, as they don’t have any more widebody aircraft on the way.

However, next year Aer Lingus will start their next phase of expansion, as the airline will take delivery of eight A321LRs. Aer Lingus will begin taking delivery of A321LRs in the second quarter of 2019, and plans to take delivery of four of them in 2019, and four of them in 2020.

These plans have the range to fly to the East Coast of the US (and in some cases a little further inland), so really Aer Lingus has a few ways they could use these planes:

  • They could use A321LRs to operate flights to new markets that weren’t practical with larger planes
  • They could use A321LRs to operate flights to East Coast destinations that are currently served by A330s (either by reducing capacity or by operating multiple frequencies), thereby freeing up A330s to operate longer flights
  • They could use A321LRs to replace 757s, and return those to the leasing company

We now have some more general insights into what we can expect from these planes.

This past Friday, Aer Lingus’ CEO said that the airline has a list of three A321LR destinations they’re considering for North America, and that they plan to cut that list to two destinations in the coming weeks.

So we should see two new transatlantic routes with Aer Lingus A321LRs being operated by next summer.

The Irish Times suggests that Pittsburgh and Montreal are two of the cities under consideration for the new routes, which seems reasonable enough. Montreal would be Aer Lingus’ second destination in Canada, while Pittsburgh has been offering big incentives to airlines for longhaul service, and British Airways just announced that they’ll start flying there.

Bottom line

I’m excited to see what exactly Aer Lingus chooses to do with their A321LRs. It sounds like the first couple will be used for new routes. I wonder if they’ll open up new markets for the remaining planes, if they’ll add service on existing routes, or if they’ll use them to free up A330s.

I’m also curious what kind of interiors Aer Lingus chooses. Aer Lingus has fully flat business class seats on both the A330 and 757, so my guess is they’ll install a similar product on the new A321LRs.

What destinations would you like to see Aer Lingus fly to with their A321LRs?

(Tip of the hat to DKB)

  1. Small mistake: Since the start of this summer, Aer Lingus has been leasing 5 757s (from ASL) not 3.

  2. I’d love to see them come to SAN as we grow our international flight footprint. Though with Aer Lingus and BA being owned by the same holdings company, San Diego being very much a leisure (and military) market, and BA and Aer Lingus generally serving as more of a gateway to Europe versus true O/D traffic to London/Ireland, I’m sure this is a pipe dream.

  3. I remember the first time I took a narrow-body across the Atlantic. A United 757 (I think) from EWR-LHR. I was surprised at the time and disliked the idea. But, if it means opening up transatlantic non-stops to a bunch more cities (maybe even YHZ and YSJ in Atlantic Canada), then I’m all for it!

  4. This was a long time in the making, and Airbus is at the moment better positionned than Boeing simply because the A320’s are higher and can therefore accomodate a bigger fan 😀

    London airports, BRU, AMS, CDG, CPH, ARN, OSL… the East Coast via EaysJet (single narrowbody aircrafts ULCC) is just a few years away !

  5. Boston sounds boring but JetBlue have good connections from there which is one of my preferred US airlines which you can connect up with then.

  6. What are those A321s going to look like inside?

    And all the people saying Austin and Dallas and so on are crazy. An A321LR doesn’t have the range to make it there. It’s barely within the theoretical max-distance, but no airline is going to spend that much on fuel to fly a narrowbody that far.

  7. I’d like to see Tampa – Dublin.

    If they can still offer service to UK destinations from the US after Brexit, service from New York to either Cardiff or Bristol is a possibility, my first long narrowbody flights were between EWR and BRS on CO back in the day, and if you’re going to Wales or the southwest UK it’s so nice not to have to deal with Heathrow or Gatwick. BOS-Cardiff/Bristol is a possibility too, both can offer B6 connections.

    Another thought is Ft. Lauderdale, both to offer lower-cost alternatives to MIA and to offer Latin American connections on JetBlue. Orlando could offer that too.

  8. Most of the ideas/hopes/proposals above ignore that to get beyond the northeastern US they’d have to substitute the 321lr into a somewhere currently served by the 330s. And that seems unlikely.

  9. From the British Isles, some of the key routes the A321LR opens up are in SE Caribbean, destinations like Trinidad and Tobago. At present most routes are via USA which makes them slow and expensive for passengers. A direct route could be hugely profitable for an airline since price competition is so weak (other than charters) and traffic isn’t strong enough to support a wide body for much of the year. Whether it is best flown by Aer Lingus out of Dublin rather than BA out of Gatwick is unclear, but I would be surprised if IAG didn’t see potential for the region.

  10. The two largest metro areas in the US without a BA flight (and without a Dublin non-stop), and within range of DUB on an A321LR are DTW and MSP.

    Of course, both are Delta fortress hubs, so Aer Lingus may not want to go head to head, but the opportunity is there if the IAG people want to give it a shot.

  11. Justin

    You can already fly a narrowbody to St. Johns and Halifax – both AC and WestJet use 737-Max planes from LHR and LGW respectively.

    Problem is neither have great connections, so YUL would enable one-stop to LAX and SFO, neatly breaking the trip in half

  12. I still do not understand why AerLingus is not yet member of OneWorld despite the IAG ownership …. I’ve asked and asked IAG and AL but I never get an answer ….

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