Aer Lingus Welcomes First Airbus A321LR Aircraft
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After a nearly four week delay, Aer Lingus has taken delivery of the airline’s first Airbus A321LR. The A321LR is a variation of Airbus’ A321neo, the aircraft manufacturer’s latest generation A321. In North America, the A321LR will serve new and existing Aer Lingus destinations in the United States and Canada.
Aer Lingus will receive 7 of the narrow-body aircraft, with four A321LRs to be delivered before the end of the year. The Airbus A321LR will allow Aer Lingus to phase out the Boeing 757-200. (Currently, Aer Lingus is wet-leasing four Boeing 757-200s from ASL Airlines Ireland, allowing Aer Lingus to serve additional markets in the US.)
Most recently, Aer Lingus launched nonstop flights from the airline’s hub in Dublin (DUB) to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Minnesota. Flights between Dublin and Minneapolis were supposed to commence with the airline utilizing the Airbus A321LR. However, delayed deliveries forced Aer Lingus to operate the first flights to Minneapolis with Boeing 757s. The delayed deliveries of the A321LR also led Aer Lingus to delay new nonstop flights from Dublin to Montreal (YUL).
The A321LR is similar to other variations of the popular A321, however, can operate longer flights thanks to the aircraft’s increased range. It features the same onboard product found on Aer Lingus’ Airbus A330 and wet-leased Boeing 757s. Aer Lingus’ A321LR is configured with 16 fully-lie-flat seats in business class and 168 standard economy class seats. According to PaxEx.Aero, Aer Lingus will offer in-flight WiFi provided by Panasonic and all A321LRs will feature seatback entertainment and power outlets in both business and economy class.
Aer Lingus’ First A321LR Flights
The Airbus A321LR will make its debut on Aer Lingus’ Dublin to Hartford route. The route is currently served with the Boeing 757-200. The route will transition to the Airbus A321LR on August 2.
- Dublin (DUB) to Hartford, CT (BDL) – beginning August 2, 2019
The A321LR will serve additional routes from Ireland to North America as Aer Lingus takes delivery of additional aircraft. Future A321LR routes include:
- Dublin (DUB) to Philadelphia (PHL) – beginning November 1, 2019
- Dublin (DUB) to Washington-Dulles (IAD) – alternating A321LR/330 service begins October 29, 2019
- Dublin (DUB) to Newark (EWR) – alternating A321LR/330 service from February 13 to March 10, 2020
- Shannon (SNN) to Boston (BOS) – beginning January 6, 2020
Booking the First A321LR Flights
The first A321LR are currently available for passengers to book. Round-trip cash fares from the United States (Hartford-BDL) to Dublin start at $376 round-trip in economy or $2,647 in business class.
- Avios: from 17k Avios in economy or 50k Avios in business
- United MileagePlus: from 30k miles in economy or 70k miles in business
If you are traveling solo in business class aboard the Airbus A321LR, be sure to select a seat in rows 3 or 5. Rows 3 and 5 feature ‘throne seats’ with just one seat per row. Unfortunately, Aer Lingus does not feature a sliding privacy door at these seats. However, these seats still provide additional privacy and feel more premium compared to other business class seats.
The Aer Lingus Airbus A321LR appears to be a comfortable and passenger-friendly ride, with free in-flight WiFi to allow passengers to stay connected on their hop across the Pond. A321LR flights are scheduled to commence on August 2 on flights between Dublin and Hartford, CT, however, with Aer Lingus having just one A321LR in their fleet at the moment, that date could be pushed back.
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Featured image courtesy of Airbus
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