Stobart Air, the regional franchise flying partner to leading airlines, has delivered ten million passengers on regional routes under its franchise partnership with Aer Lingus.
Since its first Cork- Glasgow flight in March 2010, Stobart Air has invested over €170 million on a fleet renewal programme, including the addition of a new ATR42-600 aircraft at a cost of €14 million to service the Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes.
The airline recently renewed its contract to operate the PSO routes connecting Kerry and Donegal to Dublin and beyond. Over 8,000 people flew on these routes in October, representing a 20% increase in traffic on last year. Over 80,000 passengers have flown domestically within Ireland since the beginning of 2018.
Since 2010, services under the franchise agreement have more than doubled, increasing from 12 to 25 regional routes across Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Kerry and Donegal, operating more than 22,000 flights.
Furthermore, Stobart Air has doubled its workforce in the last eight years, currently employing almost 600 people.
In the last two years, the airline has increased the number of flights between Dublin to Bristol and Edinburgh by a third, flying multiple times per day with convenient flight times.
Since 2010, Stobart Air routes, under its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, have facilitated transatlantic connectivity for UK and Irish passengers, with over 500,000 passengers connecting to Aer Lingus long-haul services at Dublin and Shannon since 2010. Aer Lingus regional passengers travelling onwards to the US from the UK can pre-clear US Immigrations and Customs at Dublin Airport, rather than queuing on arrival in the States.
Stobart Air operates a fleet of state-of-the-art ATR 600 series aircraft with the latest innovations in cockpit technology.
Commenting on this milestone, Graeme Buchanan, Managing Director of Stobart Air, said:
“Since the inception of our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus eight years ago, we have worked together to deliver regional connectivity for our passengers throughout Ireland and the UK. We operate across some of the busiest and most popular routes, positioning Ireland as an international transatlantic travel hub. This is a key part of our growth strategy.
“We’re very proud of this 10 million passenger milestone. It highlights the success of our franchise partnership with Aer Lingus and is testament to the strength of our business model in providing regional connectivity for leading airlines. We look forward to further developing our route network and we remain focused on future growth plans and developments.
“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.”
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport, said:
“I congratulate our partners in Stobart Air on this momentous milestone. Aer Lingus regional services, operated by Stobart Air, serves nine routes in and out of Cork Airport to destinations to the UK and France. Such is the success of these services, we have seen increased frequencies, expansions and enhanced scheduling across many of these routes this year.
“At Cork Airport, we are focused on growing and expanding our route network and the destinations served, and we are working with all our airline partners to drive this forward.
“In 2019, we will cater for 2.6 million passengers who will travel through Cork Airport, which will be up 7% on the 2.4 million passengers served this year, with over 50 routes on offer. Stobart Air plays a key role in this growth and we look forward to building on today’s success well into the future.”
Summer 2019 schedule
Aer Lingus is now taking bookings for its summer 2019 schedule, which includes a return of popular regional routes including Cork—Newquay, Dublin—Rennes, Cork-Rennes and Dublin—Jersey. Seats are on sale at aerlingus.com.