Aer Lingus has blamed "aircraft delivery delays" relating to its incoming Airbus A321LRs for its decision to push back the launch of Dublin-Montreal service.
The Irish carrier is still expecting to take delivery of four A321LRs in 2019, as previously announced, but the Canadian route will now launch in summer 2020, rather than 8 August this year as originally planned.
It did not provide a detailed explanation of the delivery delays, nor any reasons, but states that the late arrival of aircraft is also causing a "temporary reduction in frequency on four transatlantic routes" during July. Those routes are: Dublin to Bradley, Minneapolis and Philadelphia, and Shannon to New York JFK.
"We’re expecting all four deliveries of the A321LR to take place in 2019," Aer Lingus says. "The first two aircraft will be ready for commercial operation in late summer, with the other two aircraft scheduled to arrive later in 2019."
This also indicates a revision to the carrier's previously stated plan for its first A321LR to go into service on its Dublin-Hartford route from 1 July.
In December, Bill Byrne, director of global sales and vice-president of North America for Aer Lingus, told FlightGlobal that the carrier was expecting its first A321LR "well ahead of July".
The operator currently serves Hartford with Boeing 757-200s, while the Montreal service is new.
Cirium's Fleets Analyzer shows the Irish flag carrier has eight A321LRs on order, all via Air Lease.