Thursday 23 March 2017

Aer Lingus shows off new luxury passenger jet

Daniel McDonald

THE future of commercial air travel arrived at Dublin Airport on Wednesday, and it's called the Airbus A350.

These passenger jets boast 42 business-class and 223 economy-class seats each, and are powered by a pair of Rolls Royce turbines. They’re an impressive 70m in length, and Aer Lingus has just added nine of them to its long-haul fleet.

AerLingus cabin crew Claire Teehan with the new Airbus A350-900 XWB MSN005 pictured this morning at Hangar 6 in Dublin Airport. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
AerLingus cabin crew Claire Teehan with the new Airbus A350-900 XWB MSN005 pictured this morning at Hangar 6 in Dublin Airport. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
AerLingus cabin crew Claire Teehan in a business class seat aboard the new Airbus A350-900 XWB MSN005 pictured this morning at Hangar 6 in Dublin Airport. Photo: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

Outside they loom like titans, with a 64.8m wing span giving AN impression of complete aerial dominance. It’s inside however, that the future really seems close at hand.

Each seat comes with a personal passenger media system, made up of a corded handset along with a decent-sized HD touch screen which plays movies, tv shows and music.

The system also gives real-time information on the flight like altitude, cruising speed and temperature.

By far the most impressive feature however is the flight-camera option. The plane is equipped with three separate cameras, which are situated in the tail, the nose and the floor. These can be accessed by passengers on their touch screens, and offer a unique perspective of take-off, flight and landing.

There’s ample storage space for luggage too – my laptop bag was almost lost in the rolling overhead lockers, which Airbus says can fit as many as five standard carry-on bags.

Throughout the cabin, LED lighting with a colour range of more than 16.7 million is used to create sophisticated “mood lighting” designed to reduce jetlag.

These jets are good news for staff as well, with a flight crew rest compartment featuring two bunks and a seat with a table located just behind the cockpit.

Aer Lingus hopes that passengers could be using these jets as soon as 2018.

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