Business

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Aer Lingus' aircraft will continue to be named after saints - chief executive

An Aer Lingus plane lands at Faro, Portugal. Photo: Deposit
An Aer Lingus plane lands at Faro, Portugal. Photo: Deposit
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Aer Lingus aircraft will continue being named after saints, despite the advent of an increasingly secular society, the airline’s chief executive Stephen Kavanagh has insisted.

The airline, now part of British Airways owner IAG, is adding aircraft to its long-haul fleet and is still naming them after saints.

“We have 80 years of heritage and tradition, and that will continue,” said Mr Kavanagh, who yesterday confirmed that Aer Lingus will fly between Dublin and Miami from next year.

Asked if they there would be an aircraft dubbed ‘St Stephen’, Mr Kavanagh laughed the suggestion away.

“I doubt it,” he said. “If we do a good deal with Ryanair, maybe.”

Aer Lingus is hammering out a deal with Ryanair that Mr Kavanagh will probably see the once arch rivals share transfer passengers from each other’s airlines by next year.

Aer Lingus will have 11 long-haul A330 aircraft in its fleet for next summer, as well as four smaller Boeing 757s.

They carry names such as St Ronan, St Munchin, St Aoife, St Laurence O’Toole, St Patrick and St Otteran. All are Irish saints.

Aer Lingus will also fly to two new destinations in Europe next year – Porto in Portugal, and Split in Croatia.

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