ATW online: 14 April 2008

Aer Lingus confirmed a June order for six A350 XWB-900s and six A330-300s following receipt of shareholder approval for the purchase. Ryanair, which holds 29% of EI, voted against the acquisition and had insisted on a renegotiation or cancellation of the contract, saying it was negotiated at an all-time high in the last aircraft value cycle. "We would strongly urge your board and management. . .to take advantage of the recent market downturn and the significant reduction in aircraft prices, to secure these same aircraft at significantly lower prices," Ryanair said in a letter to the EI board.

A330 deliveries are scheduled to begin next year, with all aircraft arriving by 2015 (ATWOnline, June 7, 2007). "The A350-900 fits well into our ambitious plans to expand existing routes and to open up new ones from our hub in Dublin. The new aircraft will fit in seamlessly with our all-Airbus fleet," EI CEO Dermot Mannion said.

The contract brings total firm orders for the A350 to 362 from 22 customers, Airbus noted.