The all-new A350 XWB jetliner is making its first visit to Ireland, underscoring the close relationship between Airbus and its customers with operations in Ireland – including the largest global lessor AerCap and the country’s flag carrier, Aer Lingus.
Airbus’ A350-900 flight test aircraft (MSN005) stopped over in Dublin, Ireland today, for a successful event jointly hosted by AerCap, which has recently established its commercial centre in the Irish capital; Aer Lingus; IDA Ireland, the country’s foreign investment promotion agency; and the Dublin Airport Authority.
This event followed Airbus’ delivery last week of AerCap’s first A350 XWB for operation on lease by Vietnam Airlines, the second airline to add the A350 XWB to its fleet.
AerCap: Airbus’ largest customer
Highlighting the key role of lessors in the air transport sector, AerCap – including International Lease Finance Corporation, which it acquired in 2014 – is Airbus’ largest customer, having placed firm orders for more than 900 total jetliners (worth over $US 1.2 trillion at catalogue prices) from Airbus’ market-leading commercial aircraft product line. In addition to the 20 A350 XWB jetliners it has on firm order, AerCap is the company’s top customer for the single-aisle A320 Family with 751 aircraft booked, and the widebody A330 product line (129 ordered).
As the aviation industry continues to grow, lessors such as AerCap are playing an important role in sustaining this development. In 2014, some 50 percent of all Airbus deliveries were financed by lessors – either through a direct order or sale-and-lease-back at delivery.
Amsterdam-based AerCap has some 1,300 owned and managed aircraft in its fleet, serving 200 customers in approximately 90 countries. The company maintains additional offices in Dublin, Los Angeles, Shannon, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Singapore, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Toulouse, and Seattle.
A successful event with support from a key operator and Irish organisations
Aer Lingus – which has ordered nine A350-900s – is the national airline of Ireland, headquartered at Dublin Airport. The carrier operates a fleet of 48 modern Airbus aircraft, comprising 40 A320 Family jetliners and eight A330s.
IDA Ireland is 100 percent funded by the Irish government with the goal of bringing high value, sustainable employment to the country, along with promoting investment in activities such as high-end manufacturing, and research and development.
The Dublin Airport Authority is a state-owned company with principle activities that include the operation and management of Dublin and Cork airports.