Aer Lingus has confirmed it will take delivery of two leased A320 neo aircraft from July.

The aircraft had been destined for Russian carrier Smartavia, but the ongoing war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions have led to them becoming available.

Aer Lingus has signed a lease agreement with CDB Aviation, with both aircraft set to be delivered to the Irish carrier towards the end of next month.

It will mark the debut of the next-generation Airbus aircraft in Aer Lingus’ fleet, with the A320 neos replacing two A320 ceo aircraft which will then be retired.

The airline said that the new aircraft would be delivered “in full Aer Lingus livery, branding and cabin interior”, and would offer a total of 186 seats.

They will join the carrier’s short-haul operations, and will “predominantly” be used on the Heathrow-Dublin route.

Aer Lingus said that it expects to acquire two additional A320 neos in 2023.

CDB Aviation’s chief executive officer Patrick Hannigan said that the company’s had “worked hand in hand to expediently execute this transaction as an important element of the Irish flag carrier’s recovery plan from the impact of the pandemic on air travel”.

Meanwhile Lynne Embleton, Aer Lingus’ CEO, commented:

“This is a great opportunity to bring new, state-of-the-art aircraft into our short-haul fleet. Renewing our fleet is one of the key ways for Aer Lingus to meet our sustainability targets, which is a priority for us over the coming years.

“The new generation Airbus A320neo aircraft is much more sustainable in terms of fuel burn and CO2 emissions and this is not only important to Aer Lingus but also to our customers.

“Equally, these more environmentally-friendly aircraft incur lower landing charges in some key airports so the new A320neos will help us to reduce costs.”