Sunday 25 February 2018

Stobart Dublin-Southend service on way

Warwick Brady
Warwick Brady
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Stobart Air has announced it is to launch a service between Dublin and London Southend Airport at the end of October.

The service, running up to three times a day from October 29, will operate as a Flybe route under a franchise agreement Stobart Air has with the UK regional carrier.

A jet will be used on the route, making for a faster connection than when it was previously operated as an Aer Lingus Regional service using a turboprop aircraft.

That Aer Lingus Regional service was cancelled in 2014, having only operated for two years.

Stobart Air also operates the Aer Lingus Regional service under a franchise agreement.

The Irish Independent revealed last month that the Dublin-Southend route would be restarted later this year.

Dublin-based Stobart Air is part of the Stobart Group, which owns London Southend Airport.

The carrier will use an Embraer 195 jet on the new route, and said lead-in fares for the service will be priced at just under €30 one-way, including taxes and charges.

Stobart Air has a franchise agreement with Flybe, and last year said it would operate 12 new routes from London Southend under that contract. Stobart Air is using two Embraer jets to operate the routes.

Stobart Air CEO Graeme Buchanan said the new service between Dublin and Southend provides another travel option to London, with a 45-minute connecting time by train from the airport to Liverpool Street Station.

"I have no doubt that the new route will be welcomed by both business and leisure travellers between the two cities, particularly those travelling between London, Essex and Dublin on a regular basis," he said.

Mr Buchanan said the new route is a "sound strategic move" for Stobart Air as it invests in its three-year growth strategy.

"We are on track to carry two million passengers in 2017, a 50pc increase in passenger numbers over the past five years," he said.

The CEO of London Southend Airport, Glyn Jones, said that the route to Dublin builds on the airport's ambition to make the gateway London's "next big airport".

Last December, Stobart Air pulled out of a plan that would have seen it acquired by Dublin-based CityJet, which was founded by and is headed by Pat Byrne.

Flybe's chief executive is Christine Ourmieres-Widener, who was chief executive of CityJet when the carrier was owned by Air France.

Irish Independent

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