The investment outlined today will enable Aer Lingus to fast-track our ambition to be the leading value carrier on the North Atlantic.
Aer Lingus’ ambition is to be the leading value carrier across the North Atlantic. Over the last four years, our value model – a demand-led strategy focussed on the pillars of cost, product and service – has boosted guest numbers, created new employment, contributed to the growth in inbound tourism particularly from North America, and delivered high levels of return on investment to our shareholders.
Today we are presenting our most ambitious plan to date with investments in guest experience, in brand, in fleet, in network expansion and in our people.
A new brand identity, new uniforms, dramatically increased marketing spend in North America, a free social media wi-fi package and complimentary alcohol for all guests across the North Atlantic, combined with improved mobile web, AerClub and self-service options will underpin a growth strategy that will see our North Atlantic fleet increase from 17 to 30 aircraft by 2023.
We plan to grow our A330 fleet to 16 aircraft (from 13 in 2017) and invest in 14 A321LRs to provide capacity to grow both across the Atlantic and within Europe, continuing to build our network and our Hub at Dublin enabled by investment by the daa in airport infrastructure.
This capacity will enable Aer Lingus to offer a range of new direct and connecting travel options. Currently, Aer Lingus has a transatlantic seat capacity of 2.8 million per annum. The increase in aircraft would see this grow to 4.7 million per annum and would be transformative for the airline, and have a hugely positive impact on Irish inbound tourism.
This growth ambition will create a significant increase in direct and indirect employment and career opportunities for all at Aer Lingus as well as wider benefits to the Irish economy as recently identified in the EY DKM Dublin Hub Economic Impact study. The study found that investment in hub infrastructure at Dublin Airport could add €18.6bn to Ireland’s GDP over the next 15 years, as well as generate an additional 33,950 jobs for the Irish economy.
– Stephen Kavanagh is CEO of Aer Lingus