Monday, 1 June 2015

21 years of Aer Lingus Airbus A330 ETOPS operations over the North Atlantic

Aer Lingus Airbus A330-300

Today marks a milestone of 21st anniversary of the transformation of Aer Lingus North Atlantic services as on this day it began Airbus A330-301 daily separate Dublin and Shannon services to New York JFK.

Aer Lingus was first operator to inaugurate ETOPS (Extended Range performance twin-engine operations) operations over the North Atlantic with this model.

The Airbus A330-300 was formally launched by Airbus on 5 June, 1987, and flew for the first time more than five years later on November 2, 1992, powered by two GE engines. The first Rolls-Royce Trent 700-powered A330-300 first flew on January 31, 1994.

The A330 was one of the first airliners to be designed entirely by computer aided design (CAD), European and US type certification for both types, powered by GE CF6-80E1 engines, was obtained also simultaneously on October 21, 1993.The A330-300  first delivery to launch customer Air Inter occurred in December 1993 with entry into service following nearly a month later in January 1994.

In April 1994 , the A330-301 (CF6-80E1A2 Engines) obtained ETOPS  Type Design Approval from the JAA with 120-minute diversion time, increasing to 180 minutes in February 1995. This was the first aircraft to receive early ETOPS approval worldwide. In May 1994,

The Airbus A330 was specifically built for high density domestic French routes for operation by Air Inter. Aer Lingus selected the 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 Airbus A330 into the Aer Lingus fleet.

Under Conor's leadership the airline reached agreement with key suppliers 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.

The first aircraft EI-SHN Airbus A330-301 was delivered 2nd May 1994 followed by EI-DUB on 11th May.  The introduction of Airbus A330 enabled the airline to retire it's Boeing 747 fleet after 25 years of service on 2nd October 1995.

To enable operations to US West Coast the airline announced in 1998 an order for an Airbus A330-200, the aircraft EI-LAX was delivered in May 1999 and a second Airbus A330-200 order was announced to increase frequency on the route, EI-EWR arrived in May 2000.

In July 2012 Aer Lingus Achieved One Million Flight Hours with General Electric  CF6-80E1 Engines on ETOPS operations.

Today Aer Lingus operates a fleet of eight Airbus A330's in a two class configuration on a growing North American network also on seasonal holiday routes to Faro and Malaga in summer season.

The A330 Family has five variations in service the A330-200, A330-300, A330-200F, ACJ330 and A330 MRTT with 1, 183 aircraft delivered and a backlog of 319 aircraft and two A330neo (new engine option) versions, which were launched in 2014.


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