April 15, 1936
The government of the Irish Free State (the present-day Republic of Ireland) formally established Aer Lingus Teoranta as the national airline. Seán Ó hUadhaigh served as the company’s first chairman. “Aer Lingus” is derived from the Irish term “aerloingeas,” which means “air fleet,” while “Teoranta” is the Irish phrase for “limited company.” This name for the airline had been suggested by Richard F. O’Connor, a surveyor in Ireland’s County Cork and a strong aviation enthusiast.
Aer Lingus officially began operations six weeks after it was established. For this inaugural flight, a six-seater de Havilland DH.84 Dragon biplane named Iolar (Irish for “Eagle”) transported five passengers from Baldonnel Aerodrome (now called Casement Aerodrome) near Ireland’s capital city of Dublin to Whitchurch Airport in Bristol, England.
More than eight decades later, Aer Lingus remains Ireland’s national airline. In addition, it ranks second only to Ryanair as the nation’s largest airline. Aer Lingus transports approximately 12 million people each year to more than 90 destinations throughout Europe and North America.
For more information on the history of Aer Lingus, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer_Lingus and https://mediacentre.aerlingus.com/factsheet/aer-lingus-milestones.