View Full Version : Aerlinte Eireann Teoranta

7th Jun 2022, 20:36
I believe this was the name of the Irish transatlantic airline some sixty-odd years ago. More recently, Aer Lingus owned a 747 - EI-BED - which, according to the Civil Aircraft Markings books, was owned/operated by Aerlinte Eireann as distinct from Aer Lingus' two original 747s which were recorded simply as Aer Lingus. I thought the Aerlinte Eireann name disappeared at about the same time as the Boeing 720s but perhaps not. Can anyone please enlighten me as to what was going on here ?


8th Jun 2022, 07:41
I can remember pilots out of Shannon in the early '70's referring to "Aerlinte" when talking about Aer Lingus - but that may have been a historical hang over

https://airlinehistory.co.uk/airline/aerlinte-eireann-teoranta/ reckons it was renamed in 1970 but the Irish State database shows it continued in legal existence until 1993 (!!) Irish State Administration Database (http://isad.ie/units/view/id/689)

9th Jun 2022, 17:26
Aer Lingus went through a long time of being schizophrenic about the name of its transatlantic operations, which seemed to be called something different almost every year, along with various aircraft titles. My understanding was they had been advised that Aer Lingus would not be understood in the US market, so it was marketed there as Irish International. They must have had a separate AOC as the flight designator was IN instead of EI, and the Dublin-Shannon sectors were jointly designated. The fleet did seem wholly integrated, even the 720s sometimes turned up at Heathrow, and I certainly recall one arriving at Bristol, on the old shorter runway at Lulsgate, as a Viscount substitute with about 25 passengers. Various sources seem to give various dates for when the alternative name was given up; I believe it was always known colloquially among passengers and the public just as Aer Lingus.

9th Jun 2022, 18:14
Thankyou both. Strange business.

Bradan feasa
11th Jun 2022, 22:31
The original requirement for a separate transatlantic carrier arose because BOAC/BEA had a shareholding in Aer Lingus (as part of a post-WW2 deal where Aer Lingus had a monopoly on Ireland (Éire)-UK routes). There were 2 UK airline representatives on the Aer Lingus board and they were generally opposed to an Irish transatlantic operation, ostensibly because it would be loss-making, but likely also because it would be competitive with BOAC. So Aerlínte Éireann was invented with a substantial overlap of its board with the Aer Lingus board.

In the original project with Constellations, my understanding is that the Aer Lingus and Aerlínte operations were somewhat separate though there were some Constellation oprerations on Dublin-Heathrow as Aer Lingus. A change of government cancelled that transatlantic operation shortly before it was due to start in 1948. The Constellations were sold to BOAC at a profit (as they had been bought before sterling devaluation and sold after it and the price was set in US dollars). That may well have made Aerlínte the first transatlantic airline to show a profit without a subsidy.

A second attempt with DC-4s hired from Seaboard and Western Airlines was blocked from the US end.

A thrid attempt, was sucessful, initially with Super Constellations flown by Seaboard pilots in 1958, graduating in 1960 to B720s flown by Aer Lingus pilots and then B707s and B747s. This was integrated operationally and commercially with Aer Lingus but using its own IN designator for the transatlantic sectors and was accounted for as a separate legal company. The British shareholding in Aer Lingus had been bought out in the 1960s, The designator for both airlines became EI about 1978.

In a subsequent reorganisation, the whole business was integrated legally as well as commercially and operationally. Aerlínte became Santain Developments Ltd and a dormant company. So far as I know, it remains in that state.

12th Jun 2022, 07:22
"That may well have made Aerlínte the first transatlantic airline to show a profit without a subsidy."

Slight correction

That may well have made Aerlínte the only transatlantic airline to show a profit without a subsidy. ;)

12th Jun 2022, 09:41
The Aer Lingus (etc) early transatlantic operation suffered from two major commercial disadvantages, firstly that demand was notably seasonal, even more than other carriers, in the summer months, having a low proportion of year-round business and commercial traffic, and secondly all the other carriers stopping over at Shannon pre-jets, who could pick off a proportion of what traffic there was, without any additional operating cost as they were stopping there anyway.

One wonders just what the loads were in early 720 days between October and March, and likewise when the 747s first came along as well.

Una Due Tfc
12th Jun 2022, 11:38
Indeed the Irish market was extremely seasonal until about the 90s when DUB started to develop as a financial and tech hub. Ireland was broke until then obviously which limited outbound demand to emigrants and non revenue passengers. EI had 3 747s until circa 1994, they were often rammed in the summer and an additional widebody would be leased in from Caledonian or World, whereas one of the 747s would then be leased out for winter months, Air Jamaica and LAN Chile certainly had them at different points.

When the Irish economy was particularly bad, a 747 would go on longer term lease elsewhere, one was at BA for a few years in the 70s. The EI executive who came up with the leasing concept (Tony Ryan) went on to found his own leasing business, GPA (now GECAS) and became a billionaire out of it. He also founded a certain rival airline that still carries his name.

13th Jun 2022, 06:40
Didn't they also insist on Dublin - USA flights stopping in Shannon?

13th Jun 2022, 07:47
Didn't they also insist on Dublin - USA flights stopping in Shannon?

Wasn't the stop in Shannon a political decision by the Irish government to support the poorer west of Ireland and its loss making airport.

13th Jun 2022, 07:51
Sorry - that's what I meant to say - it was forced on the airline (s)

of course it led to Shannon becoming the prototype for vast Duty free emporia and thus to the modern definition of an Airport as a Supermarket you can get to by airlines

13th Jun 2022, 17:47
Reading between the lines, it seems like there was a desire to keep the Aerlinte Eireann name alive for old times' sake!

13th Jun 2022, 18:15
I think the requirement to route transatlantic through Shannon only came about when the current main runway opened in 1989. Before that the older runways did not have the length to permit such flights, so it was not an issue, as Shannon stops were required anyway. The duty free emphasis was much older, and developed in the early 1950 days when many carriers stopped over for an hour to refuel both ways, and passengers could make a quick visit to the terminal.

There's a wonderful and surprisingly extensive museum of earlier transatlantic flight days at Foynes, on the opposite side of the estuary to Shannon airport, where the old WW2 flying boat terminal was. It concentrates on the 'boats', but also on the Shannon duty free history, and the barman there inventing Irish Coffee, to warm those arrived from poorly heated piston-engined aircraft. I don't know how much of it is "never let the facts get in the way of a good story", but it's a visit for aviation aficionadoes I very much recommend.

Liffy 1M
13th Jun 2022, 22:38
The "Shannon Stopover" for transatlantic flights from/to Dublin was a requirement for many years before Dublin's new runway 10/28 opened in 1989. In a series of stages, the requirement was gradually done away with, as detailed n the Wikipedia Shannon Airport page. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon_Airport#The_%22Shannon_stopover%22

14th Jun 2022, 08:10
"There's a wonderful and surprisingly extensive museum of earlier transatlantic flight days at Foynes, on the opposite side of the estuary to Shannon airport, where the old WW2 flying boat terminal was."

Covered in the What Airfield thread a while back - December 2018 I think

14th Jun 2022, 08:18
I travelled in 1961 Dublin - Idlewild (via Shannon), returning Montreal - Dublin with, I think a stop at Gander but not Shannon. Aircraft liveries, crockery etc were Aer Lingus branded. However, being just 15, the airline provided escorts to ensure I made my connections, and throughout both airports the staff were all named 'Irish' by airport and other airlines' staff.

14th Jun 2022, 08:54
Am I correct that the original callsign for Aer Lingus was "Lingus", and when Aerlinte transatlantic flights came along, separate AOC, they chose "Shamrock", which later when they merged back together was extended to the whole airline ?

One upside of the name Aer Lingus over Irish International is that in any alphabetical listing of airlines it always comes first.

Skipness One Foxtrot
14th Jun 2022, 10:15
It's the most Irish thing ever :
"What marketing name shall we call use for our airline, our fleet of aircraft?"
< Dramatic pause for thinking >
"Air Fleet?"
< Rapturous applause and cries of "Genius" >

14th Jun 2022, 10:27
Skipness, more or less the same as Lufthansa then! :)