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Ergo: War in Ukraine pushes Aer Lingus to top of the Airbus queue



Aer Lingus was happy to take the pair of Airbus passenger jets

Aer Lingus was happy to take the pair of Airbus passenger jets

Aer Lingus was happy to take the pair of Airbus passenger jets

Aer Lingus may have been in the news last week over cancelling flights and disappointing thousands of passengers – but its fleet acquisition department remains fully engaged.

It’s an ill wind that blows no good, and the acquisition team landed an unexpected windfall for itself through Russian sanctions – in the form of two shiny new aeroplanes.

When Vladimir Putin marched his army into Ukraine in March, one consequence was that many leased (often Irish-registered) aircraft became stranded inside Russia. But in the case of two brand new Airbus A320neo, the resulting sanctions came just in time to ensure they will spend the next few years crossing the Irish Sea to London Heathrow rather than the Siberian steppe.

Registered as EI-NSA and EI-NSB, the two new aircraft were originally built by Airbus to be delivered to Russian low-cost airline Smartavia in March.

In early June the planes still sported its purple and orange livery, so imminent was delivery to the Russian regional carrier.

But Russia’s determination to turn itself into a pariah state meant that the two aircraft were suddenly available. In stepped Aer Lingus, no doubt more than happy to jump to the top of the delivery queue, to sign a lease deal with CDB Aviation, the Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co.

A new coat of paint has been applied, along with the regulation Aer Lingus shamrock – and come late July, the pair of 186-seater aircraft will be ready to enter service.

Trinity petrolhead buys Lola UK race-car assets

The assets of UK-based race-car builder Lola, one of the world’s most prolific constructors in its heyday, have been bought by Till Bechtolsheimer – a 40-year-old UK-born, Trinity College-educated founder of a US investment firm.

Lola’s wind tunnel and technical centre in Cambridgeshire, plus other intellectual properties, previously belonged to the late Mayoman Martin Birrane, who passed away in 2018.

Vintage car fan Bechtolsheimer has an ex-Mercedes F1 engineer on board, and will invest in trying to re-establish a role for Lola in non-F1 motor racing, while also exploring battery power and other energy synergies.

€1m helps revive interest in pensions

Revive Active founder Daithí O’Connor’s pension fund is set to receive a healthy boost after the supplements company received a €12.5m investment from private-equity firm BGF.

According to a recent filing at the Companies Registration Office, the firm behind Revive Active would make a €1m payment to O’Connor’s executive pension following completion of the transaction. It was connected with his “considerable and continued” service with the firm, the filing read.

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