Stobart eyes Aer Lingus extension
Stobart Air is understood to be negotiating a three-year extension to its 10-year contract to operate the Aer Lingus Regional service.
If successful, this would push the contract out to 2025 and be a significant coup for Stobart Air, which is part of the UK-based transport-to-energy Stobart Group.
Such a deal would also come hot on the heels of a landmark agreement last week allowing Ryanair to open a base next year at London Southend Airport.
The airport is owned by Stobart Group, whose chief executive is Warwick Brady. That deal saw shares in Stobart climb by as much as 12pc.
An extension to the Aer Lingus Regional contract, which is operated on a franchise basis by Stobart Air, will also put pay for the time being to plans by rivals such as CityJet to win the business.
Another company, Dublin-based Hibernian Airlines, has also indicated its aspiration to win business from Aer Lingus. Hibernian, a wet-lease operator, is owned by Spain's Air Nostrum, which is controlled by building materials group Nefinsa and the Spanish bank Caja Duero.
Stobart Air also operates some flights for UK regional carrier Flybe on a franchise basis. They include routes from Southend to destinations including Vienna and Dubrovnik.