|Quoting frigatebird (Reply 86):|
They were one of the early customers for the non-XWB A350, -800s and 900s. They were subsequently transferred to the larger XWB versions.
Aer Lingus were never customers for the original A350, they ordered 6 A350 XWBs in June 2007, a year after the XWB was officially launched.
I seem to remember the early breakdown was for 3 -800s and 3 -900s but a year later, after Aer Lingus shareholder approval, they firmed the order as 6 -900s with 6 A333s as interim. Deliveries for the A333s began in 2009 and in 2011 with 3 aircraft still awaiting delivery, they converted them to A359s. Around the time of this conversion the CEO stated the A359 was a little too much for their needs, both in terms of capacity and range but since then the Aer Lingus long haul business has been transformed and is now performing incredibly well, so well that the airline has admitted the A330-200 is now too small and the A350R is taylor made for the bulk for their transatlantic routes, mainly east coast destinations.
The half year results this week by Aer Lingus state that;
'Discussions with Airbus regarding Aer Lingus’ A350-XWB long haul fleet order have substantially concluded with just some final matters relating to manufacturer communicated delivery delays to be agreed. Aer Lingus notes Airbus’s recently announced intention to produce the A330neo long haul aircraft. Aer Lingus will study this aircraft’s capabilities and its potential suitability for the Group’s long haul requirements and future plans.'
So while they will be evaluating the A330neo, the language from them over the past couple of months suggests they see the A359 XWB as a good fit for their business and will be happy to take delivery of them.
We'll know the answer in 3-4 months and then they should be ready to start evaluating the A320neo or 737MAX as they look for a short haul fleet replacement and something to replace the 3 Boeing 757s they have operating for them on their thinner transatlantic routes.