Saturday 17 November 2018

Stobart Air celebrates flying 10 million for Aer Lingus

Aiming high: Stobart Air managing director Graeme Buchanan
Aiming high: Stobart Air managing director Graeme Buchanan
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Dublin-based Stobart Air, which operates the Aer Lingus Regional service on a franchise basis, said it has carried 10 million passengers on the service since it launched in 2010.

Stobart Air, part of the UK stock market-listed Stobart Group, has a franchise agreement with Aer Lingus that expires in 2022. It has been seeking to have that contract extended to about 2025.

Stobart Air operates a number of routes on behalf of Aer Lingus using a fleet of 19 turboprop aircraft.

The routes it operates for Aer Lingus are between Ireland and the UK, as well as services from Donegal and Kerry to Dublin.

The services from Donegal and Kerry to Dublin are operated under heavily-subsidised public service obligation contracts.

Stobart Air also operates services on a franchise basis for UK regional carrier Flybe. But that agreement will end in 2020. Stobart recently pulled two of three jets from its Flybe services out of London Southend Airport, which is also owned by the group.

Recently-published first-half results from the Stobart Group showed that the company notched up millions of pounds of losses related to its Flybe franchised services.

But Stobart Air managing director Graeme Buchanan said yesterday that the number of passengers carried by the Aer Lingus Regional service "highlights the success" of the franchise partnership and the strength of Stobart Air's business model.

"We look forward to further developing our route network and we remain focused on future growth plans and developments," he said.

"We are committed to growing the airline by expanding our fleet and our team, improving our service, and continuing to connect Irish passengers to regional destinations and beyond."

Stobart Air said that since 2010, its Aer Lingus Regional routes have connected more than 500,000 passengers to Aer Lingus transatlantic services at Dublin and Shannon.

Irish Independent

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