No post-Brexit risk to flights, says Aer Lingus chief
Airline’s new brand features mainly white livery but keeps shamrock
Aer Lingus’ new look: Mostly white and the shamrock stays. Photograph: PA
Newly-appointed Aer Lingus chief executive Seán Doyle has dismissed fears that a hard-Brexit could ground flights.
The UK looks increasingly likely to crash out of the EU without an agreement on March 29th, prompting fears that flights between the jurisdiction and the EU could halt temporarily.
However, Mr Doyle said that there was no risk of this. “We will continue flying as we have done on 30th March as will do on the 28th,” he said.
Mr Doyle was speaking as Aer Lingus revealed a new brand that will see its aircraft convert to a mainly white livery. This marks a shift from the mostly green colours that it has used in recent decades.
The new colour scheme still includes green, which will be visible on the tail fin and other areas, while Aer Lingus is keeping the shamrock that its craft have carried since the mid 1960s.
Mr Doyle acknowledged that modern air travellers focused more on getting the cheapest and most reliable flights than on branding.
Nevertheless, he noted that the Aer Lingus brand still had a strong emotional resonance for Irish people.
He argued that the airline is continuing to build a business as the value carrier on the north Atlantic.
Aer Lingus has not said how much it is spending on the rebrand, but the figure is thought to be less than €2 million.
The Airbus A321 long-range craft that Aer Lingus has ordered will be painted in the new livery when they begin arriving later this year.
The airline repaints existing craft as a matter of course, something that is required by regulations, but intends to speed up its schedule for doing this. It has already re-branded its website and smart phone app.
The Aer Lingus boss said that regional airline Stobart’s joint bid for Flybe is unlikely to hit its relationship with Aer Lingus.
Stobart, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service, is joining forces with Virgin Atlantic and US investor Cyprus to take over Flybe and plough around €110 million in the ailing airline.
“We have a very strong relationship with Stobart,” he said. He also stressed that Aer Lingus’s deal with Cityjet to operate a Dublin-City of London Airport service had no implications for its relationship with Stobart.
He said that the partnerships with both regional airlines were complementary and served different purposes in terms of feeding passengers into Aer Lingus’s hub at Dublin Airport.
On another front, Mr Doyle said Aer Lingus supported Dublin Airport’s spending plans, which include investing €900 million in new aircraft stands and passenger gates.