Emerald Airlines has formally signed an agreement with Aer Lingus to enter into a franchise agreement.
Conor McCarthy of Emerald Airlines and Reid Moody of Aer Lingus with cabin crew from Emerald Airlines and Aer Lingus at the signing of a ten year franchise agreement that will see Emerald Airlines operating Aer Lingus Regional flights between the island of Ireland and regional airports in the UK, Isle of Man and Jersey – Image, Aer Lingus
It is due to go into effect on the 1st January 2023 for a period of ten years for the operation of Aer Lingus Regional flights. Although the contract is not due to commence for 18 months, Aer Lingus continues to work closely with Emerald Airlines to evaluate options with respect to an earlier contract start date in light of Stobart Air recently ceasing operations.
The new franchise agreement between Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines will support Aer Lingus’s Dublin Hub strategy. The provides connectivity of UK regional airports to North America via Dublin.
The new agreement will offer connectivity between the island of Ireland and Regional Airports in the UK, the Isle of Man and Jersey, with options for network expansion to more regional airports in the future.
Like Stobart Air before, Emerald Airlines will operate ATR turboprop aircraft on the regional routes with associated Aer Lingus branding and livery.
Aer Lingus Regional ATR72-600 at Birmingham Airport, operated by Stobart Air – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
Over 400 staff will be required between now and the commencement of services.
Lynne Embleton, Chief Executive, Aer Lingus, said
“Aer Lingus’s strategic intent to develop Dublin Airport as a hub between Europe and the US, to deliver greater connectivity and aviation jobs, is significantly boosted by today’s announcement. This franchise agreement with Emerald Airlines marks a new chapter in Aer Lingus Regional services and brings choice and certainty to our customers flying between Ireland, the UK and beyond. We very much look forward to partnering with Emerald Airlines, and to growing and developing Aer Lingus Regional over the coming years.”
Conor McCarthy, Founder and Chief Executive of Emerald Airlines said
“This is a major development for Irish Aviation and the wider tourism industry. The combined strengths of both airlines will allow us to offer optimised connectivity from popular cities and routes across Ireland, the UK and beyond. Emerald Airlines have ambitious plans to grow and develop this partnership over the next few years with the first ATR aircraft joining shortly. As we add additional aircraft to our fleet we will be recruiting 400+ new staff members which is a great boost for the industry which has been so badly impacted by the pandemic.”
Recovering after the fall of Stobart Air
When Stobart Air closed in June this year, Aer Lingus had to adapt its network and operations for Aer Lingus Regional operations. Currently, six of those routes are being operated by Aer Lingus aircraft through to March 2022, whilst another four are being operated by BA CityFlyer until the end of the summer timetable.
For Aer Lingus, bringing Emerald Airlines on sooner could help fill the regional gaps that have appeared with Stobart Air’s demise.
With regional connectivity still an important part of Aer Lingus’s flying programme, filling those gaps could become a priority.
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