Aer Lingus To Delay Airbus A321XLR

Daniel Fowkes
01 May 2024
· Aircraft 
· Airlines 
Aer Lingus will be forced to delay the delivery of its Airbus A321XLR as it struggles to finalise ongoing pay disputes with its pilots.

Aer Lingus’ relationship with the A321XLR could be taking a step back, as the airline may consider delaying incoming deliveries for the narrowbody.

The Ireland-based company was initially slated to be the launch customer of the A321XLR, confirmed at the beginning of 2024. However, those plans won’t occur thanks to ongoing pay disputes with pilots led by the International Airlines Group (IAG).

Before the delays, Aer Lingus had planned to use the A321XLR as early as the third quarter of 2024 for service across its Transatlantic network. Notably, it eyed aircraft deployment between Dublin and Minneapolis St Paul.

However, this will not be possible because of ongoing concerns regarding pilot pay, contracts, etc. As a result, the first A321XLR will be headed to another airline.

The Irish Independent reports that Aer Lingus said this week is its last chance to decide on the painting of the first XLR. Ultimately, delays are expected, and as a result, the inaugural will move elsewhere within IAG.

After the delays, the U.S. network will see adjustments, and the requirement for pilots will drop, too. Aer Lingus had expected the bulk of its A321XLRs to arrive in 2025. However, it remains uncertain when the first two units will be delivered, if 2024 is possible, depending on pay.

Airbus A321XLR Delays

The Airbus A321XLR was initially meant to enter service in 2023. However, concerns over the integrity of the additional fuel tank necessary to make the range possible and subsequent fire risks delayed this.

Airbus expects to obtain certification for its new game-changing single-aisle jet in the coming months, with a delivery slated to follow.

The A321XLR has a range boost over the existing A321LR and has been a hit so far. Its range of 4,700 nautical miles (8,700km) makes it a popular choice, and its significant fuel savings, equating to 30% over previous generation jets, make it a good choice.

Delays in aircraft certification are hardly uncommon. As approval becomes stricter following the 737 MAX crisis, manufacturers face increased focus before their new jets are cleared to fly.

The A321XLR is a prime example; however, at Boeing, persistent delays are also present in the 777X and some 737 MAX variants.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Sign Up

Stay updated with the latest developments in the aviation and aerospace sector

Share this post: