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    Aer Lingus expands long haul fleet
    Posted by FsTheo - Source: http://www.flyaerlingus.com - 2174 views
    Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2006
    Deal reinforces commitment to long haul strategy

    Aer Lingus, "The low fares, way better" airline, today announced that it has signed a letter of intent with Airbus to purchase two new Airbus A330 long haul aircraft powered by General Electric CF6 engines. The agreement is subject to final contractual discussions with both Airbus and General Electric, which will be completed shortly.

    Both aircraft will be delivered in mid 2007 and will be based at Dublin airport. It is expected that the two new aircraft will service new long haul destinations, in anticipation of bi-lateral changes.

    This brings to nine the number of Airbus A330 long haul aircraft in Aer Lingus' fleet. The airline presently has twenty-seven short haul aircraft of which six are Airbus A321s and twenty- one A320s.

    Commenting on the deal with Airbus, the Chief Executive of Aer Lingus Dermot Mannion said: "I am delighted to announce that we have reached an agreement on the expansion of our long-haul fleet. This is an important interim step for Aer Lingus and demonstrates our commitment to developing and enhancing our long haul network. Appropriate debt financing will be put in place well in advance of delivery. In the meantime, our evaluation of new generation long haul fleet opportunities from both Airbus and Boeing continues."

    Four of the Aer Lingus long haul fleet are currently held on operating leases.

    The transition to an all Airbus A320 family European fleet was completed in January of this year, bringing to three years the average age of the short haul aircraft.

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