Aer Lingus has started flying its new Airbus A320neo.
The Irish airline made the first flight with its new aircraft (registration EI-NSA) on 28 September between Dublin and London Heathrow.
Aer Lingus only received the A320neo a few days earlier. A second aircraft is joining the fleet this week.
The aircraft will be part of Aer Lingus’ shorthaul fleet, predominantly operating London Heathrow routes. They replace two previous generation aircraft, Airbus A320ceo, which will be retired from the fleet.
More dense seating
Aer Lingus A320neos have 186 seats, 12 more than the 174 seat A320ceo.
That’s 2 extra rows in the same length of aircraft.
The airline phrases it as “a greater density of seats” and says it results in lower fuel emissions per seat/passenger on board.
What’s different about the A320neo?
Aer Lingus A320neos will deliver up to 20% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions and close to 50% reduction in noise footprint compared to the A320ceo.
There are two main reasons for these improvements – the engines and the wingtips.
NEO means New Engine Option. These are more efficient and reduce fuel consumption leading. They enable longer range and are quieter than previous engines.
There is a choice of two advanced turbofan engines: the Pratt & Whitney GTF and the LEAP-1A from CFM International.
The NEO also features Airbus’ large, fuel-saving wingtip devices known as Sharklets.
These enable fuel saving and longer range.
The new generation aircraft will support the airline’s sustainability programme where Aer Lingus, as part of IAG, has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and has committed to powering 10% of its flights using sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
N.B. Image credit: Aer Lingus