Aer Lingus aiming to combat transatlantic low-cost rivals with 'transformative' expansion

AER Lingus thinks it can almost double its transatlantic fleet from 17 to 30 aircraft over next five yeas, as it’s positioned to be the number one ‘value’ airline linking Europe and North America.

The plan was unveiled at an investor day for Aer Lingus’ parent IAG, which also owns British Airways, Iberia and the low-cost long-haul brand Level.

For Aer Lingus, the plan means new direct and connecting travel options centred on Dublin. The Irish airline currently has a transatlantic seat capacity of 2.8 million per year. The increase in aircraft would see this grow to 4.7 million seats.

The company said it would be “transformative” for the airline, and have a hugely positive impact on Irish inbound tourism. The move means Aer Lingus is being positioned by IAG, led by Willie Walsh (pictured), to take on Norwegian Air and Wow in the long-haul, low-cost market.

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