How time flies: Aer Lingus celebrates its 80th birthday

The carrier flew its first service to Bristol in 1936

Aer Lingus, birthday, anniversary, Dublin, Bristol, Iolar

A vintage Aer Lingus Vickers Viscount poster | Image: Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus is celebrating 80 years of flying, having launched its first ever flight from Baldonnel to Bristol on May 27th, 1936.

To mark the milestone, Aer Lingus has flown the Iolar to Bristol once again, 80 years later.

It is a replica of the a six-seater De Havilland 84 Dragon, which made that first journey with only five passengers.

The Iolar aircraft | Image: Aer Lingus

In its inaugural year, Aer Lingus operated three routes, carrying 892 passengers and employed a total of 12 staff.

In 2016, the airline carries 12 million passengers, flies 117 routes and provides employment to 4,000 staff.

A vintage Aer Lingus poster from the 1950s | Image: Aer Lingus

1958 marked Aer Lingus' first transatlantic flight from Dublin and Shannon to New York.

Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh said: "We are delighted to celebrate 80 years of flying at Aer Lingus. 2016 has been a very exciting year for Aer Lingus so far".

"We recently commenced our new Los Angeles service and in September our Newark, New Jersey and Hartford, Connecticut services will commence".

A vintage Aer Lingus Vickers Viscount poster | Image: Aer Lingus

"These new routes open up new tourism and business opportunities with improved connectivity through our Dublin Gateway".

"We are proud of our 80 year history of connecting Ireland to the world and will continue to fly the shamrock high for the next 80 years" he added.

Dublin tourism poster, promoting Aer Lingus | Image: Aer Lingus

And we look back on some adverts - old and new:

This is from the 1980s:

And this from the early 2000s:

While this 2015 advert celebrated bringing people home for Christmas: