Thursday 19 October 2017

Waterford Airport announces three new UK flights - and a brand new airline

'Aer Southeast' scheduled for take-off

Waterford Airport
Waterford Airport
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

After more than a year without scheduled commercial flights, Waterford Airport has announced three new services to the UK.

The resumption of scheduled services to London Luton, Manchester and Birmingham begins on Monday, July 24.

The flights will be operated by a new airline, Aer Southeast, using a Saab 340 aircraft based at the airport. Prices will start from €79 each way.

Bookings can be made for London Luton via Waterford Airport's website (flywaterford.com) and aersoutheast.com from 9am on June 20.

Bookings for Manchester and Birmingham will be available shortly.

Six flights a week will operate to London Luton, the airport says, with three flights a week to each of Manchester and Birmingham.

Aer Southeast is an Irish aviation start-up with registered offices at Waterford Airport. It is run by SkyTruckers Ltd., a company with "very considerable experience in regional aviation and the backing of Irish and Scandinavian investors," according to a statement by the airport.

Waterford Airport has not operated a scheduled commercial service since June 16, 2016, when Belgian airline VLM discontinued flights to Birmingham after entering receivership.

It has struggled to find replacement services - partly due to a short runway length, partly to the growing route networks at Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports.

The airport does, however, service corporate jets, leisure flying and flight training, and is home to the Coast Guard's Search And Rescue Helicopter (Rescue 117) Base.

"We have had detailed discussions with a number of parties since the loss of scheduled services in June last year, but we were very impressed with the aviation experience of the consortium and their commitment to this project," said Desmond O'Flynn, CEO at the airport.

"We look forward to working closely with SkyTruckers, as once again regular and sustainable air links to key cities in the UK are operated over the coming months and years.”

The new services will provide a range of UK travel options for customers in its catchment, as well as a host of onward connection possibilities.

They have also been welcomed by Fáilte Ireland as a channel for inbound tourism to the southeast and its Ireland's Ancient East touring region.

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