52 Facts About Aer Lingus


Aer Lingus has a hybrid business model, operating a mixed fare service on its European routes and full service, two-class flights on transatlantic routes.

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Aer Lingus was founded on 15 April 1936, with a capital of £100,000.

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Aer Lingus Teoranta was registered as an airline on 22 May 1936.

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The name Aer Lingus was proposed by Richard F O'Connor, who was County Cork Surveyor, as well as an aviation enthusiast.

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In 1956, Aer Lingus introduced a new, green-top livery with a white lightning flash down the windows and the Irish flag displayed on the fin.

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Aer Lingus bought seven Fokker F27 Friendships, which were delivered between November 1958 and May 1959.

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In 1966, the remainder of the company's shares held by Aer Lingus Rianta were transferred to the Minister for Finance.

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Aer Lingus introduced Boeing 737s to its fleet in 1969 to cope with the high demand for flights between Dublin and London.

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Later, Aer Lingus extended the 737 flights to all of its European networks.

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On 6 March 1971, Aer Lingus took delivery of the first of two Boeing 747s for use on the transatlantic routes.

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Aer Lingus later purchased a third for its fleet but quickly offered it for lease because it was not initially profitable for the company to fly 747s across the Atlantic.

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In 1977, Aer Lingus recruited its first female pilot, Grainne Cronin – the airline was the second in Europe to introduce female pilots.

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In September 1979, Aer Lingus became the first European airline other than Alitalia to be used by Pope John Paul II, when he flew aboard a specially modified Boeing 747 from Rome to Dublin and later from Shannon to Boston.

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Around this time Aer Lingus purchased a majority shareholding in the cargo airline Aer Turas, owner of some DC-8 freighter jets.

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Aer Lingus had previously largely neglected mainland Europe in favour of US and British destinations.

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On 29 October 2005, Aer Lingus withdrew its last two 737 aircraft from service, marking the end of Boeing aircraft at Aer Lingus, and the beginning of an all-Airbus fleet.

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On 27 October 2005, Aer Lingus announced its first scheduled service to Asia from March 2006 as Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates, where Chief Executive Dermot Mannion was based when at Emirates.

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Aer Lingus withdrew from the Oneworld airline alliance on 31 March 2007, instead, entering into bilateral agreements with airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Air Lines, KLM, and United Airlines.

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Aer Lingus explained the move stating the carrier was repositioning as a low-cost carrier, which did not fit with Oneworld's pitch to the premium international frequent flyer.

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Significantly, this move restored the Belfast International to London Heathrow Airport link and Aer Lingus cooperated with its codeshare partner British Airways on this route to connect with BA's network at Heathrow.

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On 22 March 2007, as a result of the EU–US Open Skies Agreement, Aer Lingus announced three new long-haul services to the United States.

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From Autumn 2007, Aer Lingus commenced direct flights to Orlando, San Francisco and Washington, DC -Dulles, facilitated by the arrival of two new Airbus A330 aircraft in May 2007.

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Aer Lingus ended its Middle-Eastern Route to Dubai in March 2008 and ended its Los Angeles route in November 2008.

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New Route: Dublin-Washington Aer Lingus has given details of its Summer 2015 schedule which includes the introduction of a new, four times weekly summer service from Dublin to Washington-Dulles starting May 2015.

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In December 2008, Aer Lingus announced that the Shannon – Heathrow service would resume from 29 March 2009 following new arrangements with the trade unions on staff costs and the Shannon Airport Authority on airport charges.

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The Aer Lingus Board rejected the offer and advised its shareholders to take no action.

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Ryanair repeatedly stated that another bid was unlikely, but it kept a stake in Aer Lingus, prompting an investigation by competition regulators in the UK.

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In June 2009, Aer Lingus re-branded its Premier Class to the new Business Class.

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On 19 December 2008, Aer Lingus announced that it would open a base at Gatwick Airport.

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On 8 January 2010, due to the weak demand in air travel, Aer Lingus announced that it was to reduce the number of aircraft based at Gatwick from five to three.

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In January 2011, Aer Lingus announced a new daily service from Gatwick to Shannon starting at the end of March.

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Aer Lingus was replaced by German-born Christoph Muller, former head of TUI Travel and Sabena, who joined Aer Lingus on 1 October 2009.

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On 2 December 2009, Aer Lingus announced that talks with its unions had broken down.

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Aer Lingus did not identify the routes or jobs to be cut, but they would most likely "commence immediately and will be compulsory, " according to Mueller.

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Mueller indicated that Aer Lingus intended to reposition itself again, moving away from head-to-head competition with Ryanair in the low-cost sector to a more hybrid model with a stronger emphasis on service.

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Aer Lingus announced on 15 June 2010 that it would suspend services from Shannon to Boston and New York for 11 weeks beginning January 2011.

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On 20 June 2012, Aer Lingus issued a press release stating that having reviewed Ryanair's proposed offer, the company board rejected it and advised the company's shareholders not to take any action concerning it.

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Furthermore, the press release stated that the Aer Lingus board believed that Ryanair's offer undervalued Aer Lingus, considering the airline's profitability and balance sheet, including cash reserves over €1 billion.

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On 27 February 2013, the European Commission blocked the third attempt by Ryanair to take over Aer Lingus, stating that the merger would have damaged consumers' choice and resulted in increased fares.

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On 24 March 2021, Aer Lingus announced the launch of new long-haul routes to New York JFK and Boston from Manchester Airport, using its A321LR airliners.

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On 18 July 2014, Aer Lingus said it had "been agreed" between the company and Mueller that he would step down as CEO and director in May 2015.

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The Aer Lingus Board rejected the offer on 16 December 2014, with Aer Lingus commenting that the offer was, "preliminary, highly conditional and non-binding".

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On 25 February 2020, Aer Lingus noted it had been advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs that travel restrictions were being placed on several Italian towns within Italy's Lombardy region as a result of an outbreak of COVID-19 there, however stated all flights would continue to operate, further advising all flights operated would continue to comply with guidelines locally from the HSE as well as from the WHO and EASA.

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Aer Lingus was listed on the Irish and London Stock Exchanges, under ticker EIL1 on the Irish Stock Exchange and ticker AERL on the London Stock Exchange.

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Aer Lingus Cargo is available on all routes to the US from Dublin and Shannon.

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Aer Lingus had a franchise agreement with Irish regional airline Stobart Air, under which Stobart Air operated several routes under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, livery and flight code.

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Aer Lingus adopted a "small frills" strategic approach – a hybrid between a traditional legacy airline and a low-cost carrier.

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On 8 November 2011 Aer Lingus signed the contract with the Dublin Airport Authority for the surrender of the leasehold interest in the HOB Site.

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On 30 April 2015, it was announced that Aer Lingus would become the Official Airline of the Irish Rugby Team.

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In January 2017, Aer Lingus announced its intention to finalize an order for eight A321LR twinjets to develop thinner transatlantic routes which cannot be operated profitably and fuel efficiently using A330s.

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From 2015 to 2016, Aer Lingus sold pre-packaged Tayto sandwiches on board some of their flights.

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Aer Lingus has a good safety record, with no crash fatalities in over 50 years.

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