Aer Lingus last night took delivery of the first of six new generation Airbus A320-200 aircraft. This new aircraft, EI-CVA, St. Schira will go into operation on the Continental European network with immediate effect. A further three such aircraft will be delivered in 2001 with the final two due for delivery in 2002. The total value of these aircraft is $250 million.
The A320 aircraft will provide 35% more seats then the B737-500’s used currently on Continental European routes. This stage in the programme of fleet development ensures that the Aer Lingus fleet will retain its low average age currently 7.4 years, ensuring continued high levels of reliability.
Aer Lingus Group Chief Executive Larry Stanley said “the A320 will enhance overall customer comfort with business customers particularly benefiting from the extra facilities offered by this aircraft with wider seats, more cabin space and larger overhead luggage space”.
The A320’s can accommodate up to 159 passengers in an all economy version. In a two-class configuration, the new aircraft will accommodate up to 102 passengers in Premier Europe business class with 35 in economy.
The A320 aircraft has been voted number one narrow-bodied aircraft by both investors and operators in the Investors and Operators Poll conducted by the Air Finance Journal for both 1998 and 1999. It is the original model for the A320 family, which includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321. The A320 is the highest selling of the family with 1300 orders placed with Airbus to date.