Hot on the heels of yesterday’s massive Lion Air Airbus order, Ryanair has come up trumps with its own record order (for a European airline) for 175 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Ryanair currently operates 305 Boeing 737-800s on routes from its bases across Europe, offering low fares.
The new aircraft will partially replace older examples in the fleet, but mainly allow the fleet and route network to grow.
Ryanair CEO, Michale O’Leary, said: “Ryanair is pleased to sign this agreement with Boeing to purchase 175 new 737-800 jets, which will expand our fleet to over 400 units, creating over 3,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers, while allowing us to grow our low-cost airline service by about 5 percent per annum over the next several years and take our traffic to 100 million passengers by March 2019.”
So spotters in Europe will have some more numbers to crunch as deliveries arrive until 2018. Ryanair continues to evaluate the benefits of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft which enters service in 2017.
Aer Arann, of the Republic of Ireland, has announced it intends to grow and become one of Europe’s top regional airlines.
It will extend its agreement to operate Aer Lingus Regional flights to 2022, following a growth in passenger numbers on the flights of 16% over the past two years.
For these flights, its aircraft wear Aer Lingus colours and operate links mainly from Dublin to the UK. Two new services will be added to the franchise, from Dublin to both Birmingham and Manchester. Frequencies will also increase on routes to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Eight new ATR 72-600 aircraft are expected to be delivered between May and Summer 2014, replacing older ATR 72-200s operated by the airline.
Aer Arann has undergone significant restructuring since it got close to financial bankruptcy. It has closed a number of routes, and sees this expansion of services with Aer Lingus to signify a brighter future for the airline.
Interim CEO of Aer Arann, Steve Brogan, says: ”Our extended franchise agreement with Aer Lingus to 2022 gives us a firm foundation for growth, and the fleet renewal programme allows us to enhance the passenger offering further.”
Virgin Atlantic has announced it is to use Aer Lingus as a source of aircraft and crew for its upcoming UK domestic flight schedule.
The airline will use four Airbus A320s operated by the Irish airline to provide 24 daily flights in and out of London Heathrow airport. The slots for these flights were acquired following the takeover of bmi British Midland by IAG’s British Airways earlier this year.
Flights will operate from Heathrow’s Terminal 1 to Aberdeen (3x daily), Edinburgh (6x daily), and Manchester (3x daily), starting on 31 March, 2013.
The deal with Aer Lingus will initially last three years, and there has been no indication whether Virgin aims to eventually source its own aircraft, or add more destinations to its domestic network.
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner World Tour continues with a bunch of new dates and airports over the next couple of weeks.
You can see the aircraft at the following destinations:
26-31 March – Santiago, Chile (including display at FIDAE Air Show)
1-2 April – Shannon, Ireland for maintenance
2-3 April – Baku, Azerbaijan
3-6 April – Moscow, Russia
6-11 April – Istanbul, Turkey
11-13 April – Madrid, Spain
The aircraft will be visiting airline customers, supply customers and demonstrating to potential customers.
Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner World Tour continues, with new destinations and dates announced.
The aircraft used is ZA003, and is fitted out to best show off the interior possibilities to airline customers it visits.
The new dates are:
20-23 January – Wichita, KS
23-25 January – Rockford, IL
25-27 January – Dublin, Ireland
27-30 January – Huntsville, AL
Keep an eye out here for more dates as they become known!
I had the brief chance to experience Dublin’s new Pier D last weekend as I passed through on my stag do. Not much spotting was done, naturally, but I can at least report on the opportunities from here.
The pier is very bright and airy, and has big windows along its length on both sides. You can see most of the airfield and movements from it, although aircraft parked at parts of piers A, B and C are obscured.
The glass is clean enough for photographs.