Aer Lingus celebrates Irish aviation history as Douglas DC-3 takes to the skies at Dublin Airport.
Aer Lingus welcomed a piece of Irish aviation history into its hangar at Dublin airport today as it received a Douglas DC-3 aircraft hailing from the 1940s and 50s and freshly painted in the Aer Lingus livery of that era.
As is tradition with Aer Lingus aircraft to be named after Irish saints, this DC-3 has been named St Gall which was in fact the name of an Aer Lingus DC-3 aircraft from the 1950s and today’s DC-3 carries the same registration – EI-ACD – as its earlier counterpart.
Aer Lingus took delivery of its first Douglas DC-3 in April 1940, making it the fifth aircraft to be operated by the airline and the first scheduled flight was a Dublin to Liverpool service on 7th May 1940.
A total of 19 DC-3 were in use by Aer Lingus until 1964, flying from Dublin to UK destinations such as London, Manchester and Birmingham.
The aircraft type operated its first Aer Lingus European service to Paris in 1946, with Amsterdam following in 1947.
While 32 passengers was the maximum capacity of a DC-3 aircraft, today, more than half a century later, Aer Lingus carries as many 317 passengers across the Atlantic on an Airbus A330 aircraft.
What was a fleet of a five aircraft in 1940, is today a fleet of 63 aircraft comprising largely of Airbus aircraft.
Now flying to more than 100 routes across the UK and Europe, together with 13 direct routes to North America, Aer Lingus operates Airbus A320 and A321 on short haul routes and A330 aircraft on long haul routes.
Aer Lingus marked the arrival of the DC-3 into its hangar today with a short flight over Dublin and welcomed a special guest, Margaret McLoone from Rush, Co Dublin, who was a former Aer Lingus ‘air hostess’ from 1952-1955.
Then known as Margaret Bergin, she operated her first flight on a DC-3 and even met her late husband Dinny on board who at that time was an Aer Lingus Second Officer.