Aer Lingus has negotiated a new deal with Airbus on the delivery of new planes and it has also decided to reduce its long-haul fleet by two planes through the early termination of existing lease agreements.

One A330 plane will leave the fleet in October - 18 months ahead of schedule while a second one will leave next March - 14 months ahead of schedule.

Aer Lingus said it had deferred delivery of new planes from Airbus which will allow it to keep its long-haul fleet at eight aircraft until 2013. It said this will significantly reduce its capital commitments over the next three years.

The airline said it will take delivery of one new A330-300 as planned next April. However, it has agreed with Airbus to adjust the delivery schedule of five new planes and will now receive the planes between 2013 to 2015.

Aer Lingus said a maximum of seven aircraft are planned to operate its long-haul services for the next three years with a single plane available to invest in a joint venture with United Airlines to operate services between Washington and Madrid.

'These agreements represent a successful outcome for Aer Lingus, significantly reduce the group's planned capital expenditure over the next three years, and will contribute to a significantly stronger net cash position and balance sheet during the current challenging trading environment,' a statement from the company said.

Aer Lingus shares closed up slightly at 47 cent in Dublin.