Monday 24 October 2016

Airline still looks to future after 79 years

Published 28/05/2015 | 02:30

Aer Lingus planes are parked up at Dublin Airport.
Aer Lingus planes are parked up at Dublin Airport.

It was 79 years ago yesterday when a small, six-seater De Havilland Dragon propeller aircraft named Iolar lurched out of the sky at Dublin's Baldonnel aerodrome on its way to Bristol.

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And that flight, in 1936, with just five passengers on board, marked the first ever by Aer Lingus.

But Ireland's initial foray into the world of aviation was soon cut short by the outbreak of war. Still, no one could have imagined then how the aviation industry and the aircraft that service it would evolve, and how quickly.

By 1946, Aer Lingus had started flying to Paris, its first continental European destination. The United States was added to its network in 1958.

IAG boss Willie Walsh also noted the 1936 anniversary date yesterday as he held his press conference in Dublin.

"It's a significant date for Aer Lingus," he said.

"It's nice to be sitting here on such an important date making this announcement."

Many will wonder if the Aer Lingus brand will still be around another 79 years from now.

IAG insists that without being part of a bigger group, that the chances of that happening are very slim.

Still, no one making the key decisions this week and in coming weeks is likely to be around to see the theory tested.

Irish Independent

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