Aer Lingus took delivery of its first A321LR last week and is wasting little time in pressing the aircraft into service. With the plane delivered the carrier will inaugurate Transatlantic flights on the new type this Friday, August 2, 2019. The first Aer Lingus route to fly on the A321LR is between its Dublin hub and Bradley International Airport outside Hartford, Connecticut.
The new A321LR for Aer Lingus features the Thompson Aero Vantage lie-flat seat in business class, offering a mix of pairs or solo seats for travelers. This is the same seat used on the carrier’s 757-200 fleet, though the A321LR features an additional row of four seats.
The new business class cabin will also be used to sell a premium offering into the European continent. This is not to be confused with the AerSpace euroBiz offering announced earlier in the Spring.
In economy class the 3-3 layout is a relatively standard offering, though with plenty of options for passengers to pay extra for seats in different areas on board.
Passengers will also have access to inflight WiFi connectivity on board, powered by Panasonic Avionics. The connectivity offerings on board are megabyte-based packages, generally considered the least customer-friendly option available. But passengers should receive 20MB free based on plans the carrier announced last year.
The A321LR delivery for Aer Lingus experienced significant delays from Airbus. That caused planned service to Montreal to be scrubbed for 2019 and other routes to see less frequent service than expected as the airline leased 757s to backfill the operations. Aer Lingus was originally slated to take four A321LRs in 2019 and four more in 2020. It is unclear how many of the 2019 deliveries will slip into next year.
Aer Lingus is not the only airline to find itself lacking A321neo frames as a result of delivery delays. JetBlue indicated earlier this month that it will come up short seven A321neo frames the manufacturer this year and one short in 2020, slowing its overall growth. American Airlines is also facing delays of its A321neo deliveries (and 737 MAX), causing the carrier to extend the life of some older A320, 737 and 757s in its fleet.