McCarthy targets Stobart growth
Dublin-based Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service, is to continue expanding its fleet as it eyes more franchise opportunities around Europe, according to newly-appointed non-executive chairman Conor McCarthy.
Mr McCarthy, a seasoned aviation veteran, is the founder and executive chairman of aircraft maintenance firm Dublin Aerospace.
He's also a former Ryanair and Aer Lingus executive and was involved in establishing AirAsia.
He said that Stobart Air might also explore airline acquisitions around Europe to take advantage of continuing structural changes amongst legacy carriers.
Stobart Air is part of the UK stock market-listed Stobart Group, whose CEO is former EasyJet chief operating officer Warwick Brady.
Stobart Air, whose managing director is Graeme Buchanan, operates the Aer Lingus Regional service on a franchise basis and also operates some flights for UK regional carrier Flybe, also on a franchise basis.
Mr McCarthy told the Irish Independent that Stobart Air would also be interested in expanding its use of jets. It currently has three Embraer 195 jets in its fleet that were previously leased to Flybe.
Stobart Air currently operates those jets in Flybe livery, using one to operate a Flybe service between Dublin and London Southend Airport, which is owned by the Stobart Group.
Stobart Air's fleet also includes 17 ATR-72 turboprops.
Mr Brady said that Stobart Air would benefit from Mr McCarthy's "experience, contact base and independent advice".