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Aer Lingus announced that London (LHR) will receive its new Airbus A321LR aircraft, featuring a business class cabin with lie-flat seats on select Heathrow flights from later this year.
The Irish carrier has 14 Airbus A321LR aircraft on order, four of which it’s expecting to take delivery of this year. While the aircraft is a narrow-body plane, its range will allow it to fly nonstop from Ireland to the East Coast of North America, which is a huge market for Aer Lingus.
As previously announced, Aer Lingus plans to operate a premium class on some short-haul European routes so it can offer an experience called ‘AerSpace’, primarily for passengers connecting from North America onto European destinations beyond Ireland. Previously, business class passengers flying those itineraries would have to sit on economy for the short-haul leg.
AerSpace promises ‘a premium seat with complimentary lounge access, Fast Track security, priority boarding and onboard refreshments from the Aer Lingus’ onboard menu’, which does not go as far as to provide a premium separate meal just for business class.
What makes this news especially exciting is that Aer Lingus has confirmed to TPG UK that it will operate AerSpace on the London (LHR) to Dublin (DUB) flights. That, meaning that with the introduction of the Airbus A321LR on this route, Aer Lingus goes from having no European business class to having one of the best business class (seats at least) products on intra-Europe flights. UK passengers may be used to very underwhelming short-haul business class products around Europe by the likes of British Airways.
Aer Lingus will operate their A321LR daily from 1 November 2019 on the following routes:
- EI154 Dublin (DUB) 7:30am Departure ⇒ London (LHR) 9:05am Arrival
- EI155 London (LHR) 9:50am Departure ⇒ Dublin (DUB) 11:20am Arrival
While these A321LR flights are now on sale for revenue/cash fares, unfortunately, there is no Avios availability. That perhaps could be because Aer Lingus does not code the AerSpace class as proper business class in order for partner airlines like British Airways to include it in its partner award availability.
Still, fares in AerSpace on this route are priced at less than £200 each, which is not much more than British Airways is charging on the same route in Club Europe. You might not need a flat bed on such a short flight, but it’s certainly a luxurious way to travel between London (LHR) and Dublin (DUB) — especially if you can score one of the ‘throne’ seats with plenty of storage, no neighbour and direct aisle access.
Featured image by Aer Lingus.
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