Sunday, 19 May 2019

Aer Lingus milestone of 25 years Airbus A330 operations

Image courtesy of Aer Lingus 
Aer Lingus has reached a milestone with 25 years of Airbus A330 operations on 7th May 2019. In the fleet only three other aircraft types exceeded 25 years service the BAC One-Eleven achieving 25 1⁄2 years, the Boeing 737 (all variants) 36 1⁄2 years and the Boeing 707/720 25 3⁄4 years (Irish Air Letter May 2019).

On 17th September 1993 F-WWKD Airbus A330-301 Air Inter visited Dublin Airport on demonstration to Aer Lingus.

The Airbus A330 was specifically built to meet the requirements of Air Inter whom placed an order for 15 aircraft plus 15 options for high density domestic French routes.

After an extensive evaluation of aircraft economics and market opportunities Aer Lingus selected the Airbus A330-300 aircraft to replace it's fleet of Boeing 747's. Mr Conor McCarthy, Chairman Dublin Aerospace and CEO PlaneConsult and former Aer Lingus Commuter CEO , managed the introduction of the Airbus A330 into the fleet enabling retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet.

Under Conor's leadership Aer Lingus reached agreement with key suppliers on the Airbus A330 programme Airbus, General Electric and aircraft lessor ILFC on the A330 which would be transformational in terms of operating economics, making the North Atlantic profitable with fuel burn 25% lower than Boeing 747 and 50% greater cargo capacity.

Interestingly F-WWKP MSN 55 callsign 'AIB 055' visited Dublin in full Aer Lingus colours prior delivery as EI-DUB on familiarization sortie.

The first aircraft EI-SHN Airbus A330-301 was delivered 2nd May 1994 followed by EI-DUB on 11th May.  EI-SHN entered commercial service on 7th May operating EIN152 on Dublin to London Heathrow route. Over subsequent weeks the two aircraft EI-DUB and EI-SHN where operating proving flights on European and London Heathrow routes prior to introduction of Transatlantic  services with the type.

The first transatlantic service took place on 16th May 1994 when EI-SHN operated flight EIN105 Shannon-Dublin-JFK. the A330 entered full service on 1st June 1994 with two aircraft, EI-SHN and EI-DUB, operating daily services on the Shannon-JFK and Dublin-JFK routes (Irish Air Letter May 2019).

Two years after Air Inter became the launch customer for the Airbus A330 the carrier stated the aircraft was no longer suitable for domestic flights and the market which have had changed between the order time and the deliver time with the introduction of European Open Skies and entry of low cost carriers.

The changed market conditions for Air Inter whom parked the aircraft presented Aer Lingus with an opportunity to acquire F-GMDD Airbus A330-303 MSN 059 which was delivered in March 1997 as EI-ORD.

A fifth Airbus A330-301 allocated for allocated on the production line for Air Inter as F-GMDE MSN 086 was delivered to Aer Lingus as EI-JFK on 11th July 1995. This specific aircraft was an opportunistic acquisition and was delivered in basic configuration.

Aer Lingus painted the aircraft in "Vacations Ireland" colours to operate Belfast International-Shannon-New York JFK seasonal summer services in 1995 and 1996 before reconfiguration to standard Airbus A330 layout.

According to Aer Lingus has operated 18 Airbus A330 airframes in its fleet between 1994 and 2018 including current and historic aircraft.

A330 Current Fleet

EI-DAA Airbus A330-302 MSN 397 "St Keeva"
EI-DUO Airbus A330-202 MSN 841  "St Columba"
EI-DUZ Airbus A330-302 MSN 847 "St Aoife"
EI-EAV Airbus A330-302 MSN 985 "St Ronan"
EI-EDY Airbus A330-302 MSN 1025 "St Munchin"
EI-ELA Airbus A330-302 MSN 1106 "St Patrick"
EI-EWR Airbus A330-202 MSN 330 "St Thomas"
EI-FNG Airbus A330-303 MSN 1742 "St Colmcille"
EI-FNH Airbus A330-303 MSN 1744 "St Laurence O'Toole"
EI-GAJ Airbus A330-302 MSN 1791 "St Carthage"
EI-GCF Airbus A330-302 MSN 1817  "St Aengus"
EI-GEY Airbus A330-202 MSN 441 "St Brendan"
EI-LAX Airbus A330-202 MSN 269 "St Mella"

A330 Historic Fleet

EI-CRK Airbus A330-301 MSN 070 "St Brigid"
EI-DUB Airbus A330-301 MSN 055  "St Patrick"
EI-JFK  Airbus A330-301 MSN 086  "St Colmcille"
EI-ORD Airbus A330-301 MSN 059  "St Maeve"
EI-SHN Airbus A330-301 MSN 054  "St Flannan"

Speaking at IAG Capital Market Day November 2019 former Aer Lingus CEO and current director Stephen Kavanagh said the airline plans to grow its A330 fleet from 13 to 16 aircraft by 2023 with two Airbus A330-300s due for delivery this winter and a further two in 2022.

Stephen Kavanagh said the A330 platform would “transition” to the -300 rather than the -200 providing additional seats at “close to zero incremental costs”.

The Airbus A330-300 will remain the mainstay of Aer Lingus operations for many years with the aircraft offering very attractive operating costs per seat with the versatility to cover all ranges from short-haul to long-haul.

Thanks to Alan Dwyer and Damian Bracken for inputs into this article.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 19 May 2019 All Rights Reserved

Acumen Aviation Webinar on implementing AI and ML in Aircraft Data Management

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Saturday, 18 May 2019

Air Baltic extends new Riga-Dublin route year round

Image courtesy of Latvia Embassy Ireland Facebook page 
Air Baltic whom re-launched its Riga to Dublin route (BTI661/662) four times weekly (Mondays,Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) with effect from 31 March using Airbus A220-300 aircraft announced 15th May that due high demand and positive feedback its extending the service year-round.

The inaugural Riga to Dublin on 31st March was operated by YL-CSL Airbus A220-300 in Latvia's 100th anniversary Livery.

Air Baltic previously service the Riga to Dublin market between 2004 and 2011 and in 2012 using a mix of Boeing 737-300 & 500 and occasional Boeing 757-200 aircraft.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic “Taking into consideration the high demand and positive feedback about the launch of the Riga–Dublin route for the summer season 2019, we are delighted to announce that Dublin will also complement our winter route map. Now our passengers will be able to travel between the both cities year-round for very attractive prices in the economy or our full-service business class on the new and comfortable Airbus A220-300 aircraft.”

airBaltic serves over 70 destinations from its Riga hub offering convenient connections to its network spanning Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East.

The Latvian Embassy Dublin held a collaboration workshop on 2nd May to celebrate the launch of Air Baltic's Riga to Dublin route and to promote tourism in Latvia.

The Latvian Embassy in Ireland took part in the cultural day on 6th May with a information stand, which presented the opening of Air Baltic direct flight Riga - Dublin and the wide range of tourism opportunities in Latvia.

The carrier operated three former Aer Lingus Boeing 737-548 aircraft YL-BBF MSN 2488 ex EI-CDA, YL-BBG MSN 24919 ex EI-CDB, YL-BBH MSN 24968 ex EI-CDC.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 18 May 2019 All Rights Reserved

Aer Lingus expands wet-leased RJ85 operation with CityJet to Birmingham

EI-RJD RJ85 Aer Lingus 
Aer Lingus has expanded its wet-leased RJ85 operation with CityJet to operate a weekly Dublin-Birmingham return service on Saturdays EIN272/273 and Sundays EIN276/277. The RJ85 service will operate from 4th May to 28th September.

Aer Lingus its utilizing the RJ85 capacity when London City is closed between 1300 hours on Saturday till 1230 on Sundays to minimise noise impact on local residents.

The RJ85 will free up Aer Lingus Airbus A320 aircraft to be re-deployed on longer leisure route.

CityJet provides two Avro RJ85 aircraft (EI-RJD MSN 2334 & EI-RJI MSN 2346) , crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) to Aer Lingus for the purpose of operating the Dublin-London City route.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 18May 2019 All Rights Reserved

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 18 May 2019 All Rights Reserved

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Dublin Airport connecting traffic grows to 2.1 million passengers

DAA's 2018 annual report revealed the number of connecting passengers at Dublin Airport increased by 18% to 2.1 million, as the airport continues to expand its role as a major gateway between Europe and North America.

To cater for increasing increasing numbers last the airport opened a new €16 million facility built adjacent to Pier 4 close to Terminal 2 enabling a fold increase in connecting passengers. The number of passengers transferring at Dublin Airport has increased from 550,000 in 2013 to 2.1 million in 2018.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said "Dublin Airport has many advantages as a gateway between Europe and North America for transferring passengers. Our location is perfect, we have strong transatlantic, short-haul and Middle Eastern connectivity and US preclearance provides passengers travelling to the United States with a wonderful product that allows them to arrive as domestic passengers in the States."

The Dublin Airport hub model is critically important for the airport and carriers as additional transfer passengers underpin the viability of existing routes and increase capacity and encourage new market entrants.

The spikes into #Dubhub will increase this year as six new routes are added to Calgary, Dallas-Forth Worth, Halifax, Minneapolis-St Paul Shenzhen and Toronto-Hamilton and 17 new short-haul routes to Aalborg, Bordeaux, Bodrum, Bournemouth, Cagliari, Dubrovnik, Gothenburg, Kyiv, Lisbon, London-Southend, Lourdes, Milan/Malpensa, Riga, Thessaloniki, and Split.

Aer Lingus pending entry to joint the IAG North American Joint-Venture and ongoing negotiations with Ryanair to feed Aer Lingus North American network in due course will further enhance and strengthen Dublin's North American Hub position with increased traffic flows.

In Summer 2020 Aer Lingus launches a new route from Dublin to Montreal with new Airbus A321Neo-LR aircraft. This service will be timed to maximize connections to 20 European and UK cities and six french cities including Bordeaux,  Lyon,Nantes, Nice , Paris CDG and Toulouse. 

Dublin Airport is the sixth largest airport in Europe for flight connections to North America, and is drawing significant transfer traffic flows from Britain and continental Europe.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 11 May 2019 All Rights Reserved

Up to 66 daily flights to and from Dublin Airport to North America for summer peak

Dublin Airport Hub 
During the peak summer season in 2019 Dublin Airport will have 66 flights per day to and from 18 cities in the United States and 6 Canadian destinations with 464 weekly flights. This year Aer Lingus will launch Minneapolis-St. Paul , American Airlines Dallas/Forth Worth, Norwegian Airlines Toronto Hamilton, Westjet Calgary and Halifax .

Air Canada's low cost subsidiary Air Canada Rouge is to make a brief return to the Dublin Airport market between 25 May and 15 June.  Rouge will operate Montreal (ACA818/819) three times weekly and Vancouver (ACA862/3) four times weekly using Boeing 767-300ER aircraft pending delivery of Air Canada Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

The former Singapore Airlines/TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330-300 aircraft will be introduced on Dublin to Montreal and Vancouver routes effect from 15 June.

Aer Lingus planned new Airbus A321Neo-LR service to Hartford (Bradley International) is due to commence from 2nd August replacing wet-leased ASL operated Boeing 757-200 on the route.

Dublin's North American growth is being  constrained by delays to Aer Lingus A321Neo-LR deliveries which has resulted in the launch of new route to Montreal being deferred to Summer 2020 and revised schedules on existing North American routes.

The global ground of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from 15th March has forced Norwegian to operate a reduced scheduled at Dublin this summer using a leased Evelope! Airbus A330-300 and Providence and Toronto Hamilton operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Minneapolis-St Paul   Aer Lingus x 4 Weekly Boeing 757-200 from 4th July
Calgary                    Westjet x  3 Weekly Boeing 787-9 from 3rd June
Dallas-Fort Worth      American Airlines x daily Boeing 787-9 from 1st June
Halifax                      Westjet  x 6 times weekly Boeing 737-700 from 1st May
Toronto-Hamilton     Norwegian x 4 Weekly Boeing 737-800 from 31st March

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 11 May 2019 All Rights Reserved

Acumen Aviation CCO Eamonn Cronin speaking at Dublin Aviation Summit

Acumen Aviation CCO Eamonn Cronin speaking at Dublin Aviation Summit:

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