Aer Lingus postpones launch of Dublin-Montreal route
New Canadian route to miss August 8th start date because of unavailability of aircraft
An Aer Lingus aircraft on the tarmac at Dublin Airport.
Aer Lingus is postponing the launch of its planned Dublin to Montreal service until next year because new aircraft the carrier has ordered will not be ready on time.
The Irish airline was due to begin flying from to Montreal on August 8th this year, the second of two new transatlantic routes it planned on launching over the summer.
Aer Lingus said on Monday that a delay in new aircraft deliveries had forced it to postpone the launch of the Montreal route until summer 2020, a year after it was scheduled to begin.
Similarly, it will cut frequencies on the other new route it is planning, from Dublin to Minneapolis St Paul, as well as on services from the capital to Philadelphia and Hartford, Connecticut and on its Shannon to JFK Airport, New York.
The airline will cut flights to these destinations to five times a-week from six. “All guests booked to fly on affected flights are being accommodated on alternative flights,” the airline said. “Aer Lingus wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
The airline said that it would contact all passengers affected to arrange alternative flights at no extra cost to the customers.
Aer Lingus did not say how many customers would be hit as it said that this was commercially sensitive information.
Aer Lingus was due to take delivery of the first four of nine Airbus A321 long range (LR) Neo craft it ordered from the European manufacturer this summer.
It is understood that Airbus has delayed the delivery of these planes, which will arrive later this year, but not on time to allow the carrier launch the Montreal service as planned.
Aircraft leasing companies, responsible for the bulk of new orders from manufacturers, have complained recently about delays in deliveries from both Airbus and its main rival, US giant Boeing.
Aer Lingus has been expanding its transatlantic services since 2014 and hopes to add at least one new route every year for the foreseeable future.
The airline ordered the A321 LRs to give it extra capacity and the flexibility to serve new destinations in the US and Canada.