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Aer Lingus unveils rebrand and new business class product

Aer Lingus unveiled its new logo and livery at an event in Dublin, with incoming chief executive Sean Doyle also setting out the airline’s ambition to become a leading value carrier on transatlantic routes.

The Irish flag carrier last rebranded more than 20 years ago. The new livery, which debuted on an A330, features four shamrocks and a primarily white and teal colour scheme. "Aer Lingus" is written in a new font, and the shamrock logo has been redesigned to feature heart-shaped leaves. The airline said the teal undercarriage would be instantly recognisable from the ground.

A new website and app design also rolled out today. New uniform designs will be released in the summer and all liveries should be repainted by 2021.

The total cost of the rebranding has not been revealed, but local media are reporting it in the region of €2m.

Pictures of the new livery and logo were shared online ahead of the reveal. When asked at a press conference if this had lessened the impact, Doyle said, “We live in an age of social media. These things happen.”

Asked whether passengers actually care about branding, Doyle said: “I think there’s a package of things that passengers like. People have an emotional engagement with Aer Lingus’s brand, and that’s very valuable.

“Value for money is an important attribute but the service experience for a guest on board is fundamental.”

In recent years Aer Lingus has introduced free wifi on transatlantic routes and upgraded its business class offering.

Since 2015 the airline has been seeking to grow its offering on North Atlantic routes.

According to chief operating officer Mike Rutter, Aer Lingus’s new business model will see 50 per cent of its passengers using Dublin as a connecting gateway to North America from Europe.

In the last three years it has launched routes to Los Angeles, Hartford, Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle.

The airline takes delivery of four A321LRs this year, which will operate its new routes to Minneapolis from July and Montreal from August.

Doyle said these aircraft would open up a range of destinations that are today unreachable by Aer Lingus and allow for the introduction of a new business class product.

The airline plans to increase its North Atlantic fleet from 17 to 30 aircraft by 2023, growing its A330 fleet to 16 aircraft and purchasing 14 new A321LRs.

Aer Lingus new livery
On competition from other carriers, Doyle said: “Dublin’s geographic location is something you can’t replicate, so that’s a big advantage. We’ve developed the CBP proposition and the hub proposition ahead of everyone else.”

Passengers are able to clear US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Ireland, meaning they can skip the queues at US airports.

“Other airports may develop this capability but with the package we have at Dublin and the plans we have to advance it further, I think we will be ahead of the curve,” Doyle continued.

When asked whether transiting through Dublin left its transatlantic routes more susceptible to delays due to weather, strikes or other events, he responded: “There are always external issues to deal with, but we are in the top 10 for punctuality in Europe, we commit to a very strong operation.”

In a presentation, the airline said it had recently invested in a new global control centre at Dublin.

It said it will also use its A321LRs on short-haul European routes when they are not flying transatlantic ones, with Rutter telling Business Traveller it would focus on key feed cities like Amsterdam and Paris in order to provide them with an enhanced experience, including business class.

aerlingus.com

This article originally appeared on businesstraveller.com, sister publication of Buying Business Travel

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