18 June 2019
International Airlines Group, owners of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Level and Aer Lingus have become the latest customer to commit to the recently launched Airbus A321XLR. The deal includes 14 aircraft confirmed, plus a further 14 options. Eight will be heading for Madrid to operate for Iberia, where as the other six will be based in Dublin to operate Trans Atlantic services for Aer Lingus.
Where as chief executive Willie Walsh was pretty clear that the Aer Lingus examples will be used to extend the airlines’ services into the USA, the plan was less clear for Iberia. From its Madrid hub, the new aircraft could reach destinations such as Orlando, Chicago, Nairobi, the Middle East or even used to provide a minor capacity bump on the airlines existing routes to North America.
Where Aer Lingus is concerned, much of the USA and Canada is within reach – and will likely serve as a replacement for the four Boeing 757’s the airline has been leasing from Air Contractors since 2014.
One thing is for sure – its highly unlikely these will turn up on the groups current A320series routes. IAG confirmed that the aircraft will be fitted in a two class layout with a dedicated business class cabin complete with lie flat seats.
The new order will take IAG’s Airbus fleet to 530 aircraft, making them one of Airbus’ biggest customers.