Ireland’s oldest extant airline Aer Lingus entered the Aviation industry on 15 April 1936 and commenced operations on 27 May 1936. It is the second largest airline in Ireland and operates fleet to Europe, North America and Northern Africa. The airline has its headquarters at Dublin Airport, Ireland.
Aer Lingus operates low fare flights to European and North African routes and to transatlantic destinations, full service, two class flights are operated.
The airline has code share agreements with Star Alliance, Oneworld, SkyTeam members and has interline agreements with American Airlines, British Airways, KLM, United Airlines, Aer Arann and JetBlue Airways.
Aer Lingus was in association with Blackpool and West Coast Air Services when it entered the airline industry. “Irish Sea Airways” was the name of the airline when it operated its first fleet, a six seater between Baldonnel Airfield in Dublin and Whitchurch in Bristol, England. The airline had plans of expansion and sold its aircraft to an English company and purchased a new aircraft that can carry 14 passengers in 1938. This established an air link between Dublin and London.
The operations of the airline were moved to Dublin Airport after the construction in 1940. Following that air services to Liverpool were inaugurated. Due to the Second World War, some operations were suspended. But after the war, expansions were in place and the services were resumed. In 1945, the airline inaugurated air services to London.
In the 1940s and 1950s, the airline expanded fast and routes to Amsterdam, Brussels and Rome were introduced. The airline introduced its first transatlantic service between Shannon and New York in 1958. Carvairs were added to the fleet in 1963. The airline succeeded in transatlantic operations using Boeing 720s and in 1964 the airline purchased their first larger Boeing 707 and the same service continued till 1984.
Aer Lingus entered the jet era in 1965. The services were expanded to increase operation of fleets from Dublin to London. After 1970, two Boeing 747s were delivered and the airline leased another aircraft and purchased a majority shares from a cargo airline Aer Turas. The airline was the first airline to be used Pope John Paul II other than Alitalia. It also became the only airline to operate all three versions of second generation 737.
The airline started its Airbus operations in 1994 to introduce direct services between Dublin and the United States. In 1998, the first short haul route was introduced between Dublin and Heathrow. From 2004, deliveries of A320 were increased and the airline expanded fast in short time. In 2005, the first scheduled service to Asia was inaugurated. After 2006, the airline suffered loss and Ryanair placed a bid to take over the operations of the airline.
In 2007, the airline announced plans for cross border expansion. The service was to Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland and from 2008 eleven European destinations were served from the airport. With the Open Skies Agreement in 2007, the airline expanded operations to three other US routes: Orlando, Washington and San Francisco.
The airline faced huge global economical crisis from 2008 and Ryanair took over the second bid. Aer Lingus announced the setup of base at London Gatwick Airport. The airline announced that daily services would be operated from Gatwick to Shannon from the end of March 2011.
Aer Lingus offers economic class service in all European, North American and North African Flights. Business class services are offered only in North American flights. In some European flights, business class services are offered for an extra fee. The seat pitch is 32 in economic class and 57 in business class. Passengers in North American flights have free meals and non alcoholic drinks. But, in European and North African flights drinks and other stuff are available for purchase onboard.
Aer Lingus doesn’t offer in-flight entertainment in Europe and North African flights. Passengers flying in North American routes have in-flight entertainment. All have individual TV screens with Video on demand. 12 movies, 50TV programmes, 30 interactive games, music videos and CD albums are available. There is a KidZone for younger passengers to enjoy Disney movies, TV shows, music and games.
The Frequent Flyer Programme of Aer Lingus is Gold Circle Club. There are three tiers of membership in the loyalty programme: Gold Circle, Gold Circle Prestige and Gold Circle Elite.