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Aer Lingus Group Plc (ISEQ: EIL1, LSE: AERL) (an anglicisation of the Irish Aer Loingeas meaning "air fleet") is the flag carrier of Ireland. It operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft serving Europe, North America and northern Africa. It is Ireland's oldest extant airline, and its second largest after low-cost rival Ryanair. The airline's head office is located on the grounds of Dublin Airport.
Formed in 1936, Aer Lingus is a former member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which it left on 31 March 2007. While it is not part of alliance, the airline has codeshares with Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam members, as well as interline agreements with Aer Arann and JetBlue Airways. The company employs 4,000 people and in 2010 had revenues of €1.2 billion. Aer Lingus flew 9.3 million passengers in 2010.[1] It has a mixed business model, operating a low fare service on its European and North African routes and full service, two-class flights on transatlantic routes.
Aer Lingus is 29.4% owned by its rival, Ryanair, and 25.4% owned by the Government of Ireland. The airline was floated on the Dublin and London Stock Exchanges on 2 October 2006, following prior government approval (the government previously owned 85% of the airline). The principal group companies include Aer Lingus Limited, Aer Lingus Beachey Limited, Aer Lingus (Ireland) Limited and Dirnan Insurance Company Limited, all of which are wholly owned.[2]
Aer Lingus is celebrating it's 75th anniversary in 2011. On 26 March, the company presented her latest aircraft which has been painted in the 1960s livery and the crew was wearing a selection of the historical uniforms.[3][4]

Aer Lingus was founded on 15 April 1936, with a capital of £100,000. Its first chairman was Seán Ó hUadhaigh.[5] Pending legislation for Government investment through a parent company, Aer Lingus was associated with Blackpool and West Coast Air Services which advanced the money for the first aircraft, and operated with Aer Lingus under the common title "Irish Sea Airways".[6][7] Aer Lingus Teoranta was registered as an airline on 22 May 1936.[8] The name Aer Lingus is an anglicisation of the Irish form Aer Loingeas, which means Air Fleet. The name was proposed by Richard F O'Connor, who was County Cork Surveyor, as well as an aviation enthusiast. Aer Lingus was originally pronounced 'air ling-us' (as the Irish Aer Loingeas is pronounced) and only later did the pronunciation change to the 'air ling-gus' used now.
On 27 May 1936, five days after being registered as an airline, its first service began between Baldonnel Airfield in Dublin and Whitchurch in Bristol, England, using a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon (registration EI-ABI) biplane, named Iolar (Eagle).
The original aircraft acquired by Aer Lingus (DH.84 Dragon MK2) was later sold to an English company in 1938 as the airline expanded. The original aircraft is believed to have been shot down and lost in 1941 near the scilly isles during WW2.
Later that year, the airline acquired its second aircraft, a four-engined biplane De Havilland 86 Express named "Éire", with a capacity of 14 passengers.[7] This aircraft provided the first air link between Dublin and London by extending the Bristol service to Croydon. At the same time, the DH84 Dragon was used to inaugurate an Aer Lingus service on the Dublin-Liverpool route.
The airline was established as the national carrier under the Air Navigation and Transport Act (1936).[8] In 1937, the Irish government created Aer Rianta (now called Dublin Airport Authority), a company to assume financial responsibility for the new airline and the entire country's civil aviation infrastructure. In April 1937, Aer Lingus became wholly owned by the Irish government via Aer Rianta.
The airline's first General Manager was Dr JF (Jeremiah known as 'Jerry') Dempsey, a chartered accountant, who joined the company on secondment from Kennedy Crowley & Co (predecessor to KPMG) as Company Secretary in 1936 (aged 30) and was appointed to the role of General Manager in 1937. He retired 30 years later in 1967 at the age of 60.
In 1938, Iolar was replaced by a de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide, and a second DH86B was also purchased. Two Lockheed 14s arrived in 1939, Aer Lingus' first all-metal aircraft.

Douglas DC-3 at Manchester Airport, England (1948) wearing the first postwar livery
In January 1940, a new airport was completed in the Dublin suburb of Collinstown and Aer Lingus moved their operations there. A new DC-3 was bought and new services to Liverpool and an internal service to Shannon were inaugurated. The airline's services were curtailed during World War II with the sole route being to Liverpool or Barton Aerodrome Manchester depending on the fluctuating security situation. www.aerlingus.com Aer Lingus PNG 313x69 logo