Ireland: Aer Lingus ?330m deal with Airbus set for takeoff
AER LINGUS is to sign a $400m (?330m) deal for the delivery of four Airbus A330 aircraft ? the first stage of chief executive Dermot Mannion?s eagerly awaited long-haul expansion. The deal also represents a significant coup for the European plane maker in its tussle with Boeing.
The first aircraft will be delivered in the final quarter of this year, with the remainder scheduled for 2007. Final details have yet to be concluded, however it is expected that the deal will put Airbus in prime position to conclude a much larger deal with Aer Lingus on its new generation A350 at a later date.
The airline said that it would be ?premature? to say an order has been placed and added that the airline was still negotiating with both Boeing and Airbus on its future fleet requirements.
Aer Lingus has seven long-haul aircraft, but Mannion has indicated that the airline is planning a ?significant expansion? of the fleet as part of a ?2 billion aircraft-buying programme.
The Airbus deal will represent a coup for Mannion. The recovery in the airline industry has led to a scarcity of aircraft for lease or purchase.
Mannion is expected to insist on an option to upgrade the fleet to the more expensive but more efficient A350 aircraft at a later date. The double-decker A350 is the European manufacturer?s answer to the highly successful Boeing 787. The long-haul wide-bodied aircraft is the new battleground for the two world premier manufacturers.
Airbus has 172 orders and commitments for the wide-body A350 from 13 customers, but it still trails Boeing, which has chalked up more than 200 orders for its 787 Dreamliner.
The A350 is expected to render the A330 obsolete. However, the new aircraft will not roll off the ramp until 2010 at the earliest. The upcoming deal will be seen therefore as an interim arrangement, but will almost certainly tie Aer Lingus to Airbus for the medium term.
The delivery of the first aircraft will coincide with the relaxation of the current restrictions on transatlantic services. The airline is expected to announce three new routes across the Atlantic in November this year.
Can't say Im shocked by this, I'm sure some of the 787 fans will be disappointed
As well as adding capacity, EI will also need to replace its old A330-300s, as these aircraft are a bit short legged (as well as being unsuitable - for weight reasons - for retrofitting with modern IFE, with PTVs), so it's quite possible more aircraft might be needed.
Of course, the final deal - for the type required from 2010/11 on - hasn't formally been announced, but I'd expect this A330 deal to be part of a bigger order which will include A350s - and possibly more 330s as well. EI may well be in the process of dealing with a number of the leasing companies (including some new ones, like Kuwait based AFALCO) which have recently bought A350s.
— Cecil Day Lewis
its unclear yet to what model but im going with the -200
Dutch Roll wrote:yes they are flying to max,two or three SFO's told me that and theres lots wanting out....
... I presume this desire to get out stems from the lack of Command opportunites in EI?? I would have thought EI was on par with most full service airlines in terms of working conditions... so where is the grass greener?
It's ironic when you think about it; when I was growing up, I'd have given my brother's left arm to be a pilot with Aer Lingus (I'd have paid him well; he could get by with a hook) and now, people seem to be trying to leave in droves.
I can't help wondering if the prospect of looking at an Airbus FBW cockpit for the rest of their career is that appealing either? I know a plane is a plane, but hey, it's nice to fly something different now and again.
The double-decker A350...
I noticed that myself I think the writter is getting a bit mixed up.
Anyone know the story with the extra A320's being ordered, is it confirmed as being 320's or is it 320 family? I just wonder about some of the smaller routes that use to have the 146 or 737-500 operate them, can all those routes fill a 320 or would a 319 be an option?
However, I do expect EI's fleet needs to be part of an overall package, including A350s, A32Xs and these four A330s.
maybe the lack of command oppurtunities is a punch,but i know of 3 pilots who moved from 320 to A330 and few FO's that were doing command so it cant be that bad.Aer Lingus claims theyre 'low cost' not full service so its not going to be on any par with the likes of the full service carriers.
they've just done the short haul fleet,i expect long haul aircraft to be purchased and DM is a fan of long haul.
The pay scales will be different, as will the pension scheme for new recruits.
Is that Statement that the company has made or an informed opinion? Would the unions not be fighting to keep the Status Quo and a level playing field for everyone? It will be interesting to see what backgrounds the new recruits would come from, I am sure there are plenty of people living away who might like the chance to come home but if the deal is not the best then it might be harder?
— Cecil Day Lewis
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