Aer Arann creates 50 jobs in major expansion of its services
Aer Arann is to announce a significant expansion of its services with plans to create 50 jobs over the next 12 months.
The airline aims to double its passenger numbers to two million a year within five years.
Aer Arann, which flies all its services under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, has been plotting major growth in its activities after it underwent a radical financial and ownership overhaul before Christmas.
Its executives will make the announcement at Dublin Airport today, accompanied by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar.
Aer Arann has just recently taken delivery of the first of eight new aircraft designed to help it boost services and replace some of its existing fleet.
But there is also speculation that Aer Arann could hang on to some of its existing fleet to bring its total aircraft numbers to 15 by next year.
Interim chief executive Sean Brogan said last month that Aer Arann had plans in place to increase frequencies on routes from Dublin to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Aer Arann is owned by UK logistics group Stobart and Invesco Asset Management, which each control a 45pc stake in the carrier. London-based Cenkos Securities owns about 10pc.
Last week, Stobart said that it increased its stake in Aer Arann in order to drive passenger volume into Southend Airport, which the UK group owns and which it bills as a gateway to London.
It said it's planning to use Aer Arann to start new routes out of the airport, focusing on launches in spring next year.
"Our relationship with Aer Arann, trading as Aer Lingus Regional under a 10-year franchise agreement, provides us with an unrivalled opportunity to capitalise swiftly and highly cost-effectively on the London to North America routes via Dublin," it added.
"Phase two will be to replicate the Aer Lingus Regional model using London Southend as the UK base and servicing Scotland, Benelux and northern France.
"We will target a minimum of 300,000 passengers per annum," it said.
Aer Lingus and Aer Arann recently inked a 10-year extension to their franchise agreement. Aer Lingus has also a 33pc equity stake in the company used to acquire the eight new Aer Arann aircraft.
Aer Lingus has agreed to pay an initial €10.5m for its stake in the firm and may boost that if a further two aircraft are acquired.