Aer Lingus has today (4 August 2021) announced that it has entered into a franchise agreement with Emerald Airlines which will commence on 1 January, 2023 for a period of ten years for the operation of Aer Lingus Regional flights. Although the contract is not due to commence for 18 months, Aer Lingus continues to work closely with Emerald Airlines to evaluate options with respect to an earlier contract start date in light of Stobart Air recently ceasing operations.
The new franchise agreement between Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines will support Aer Lingus’s Dublin Hub strategy by providing connectivity of UK provincial airports to North America via Dublin. The agreement will offer connectivity between the island of Ireland and Regional Airports in UK, the Isle of Man and Jersey, with options for network expansion to more regional airports in the future.
Speaking about the new franchise agreement, Lynne Embleton, Chief Executive, Aer Lingus, said
“Aer Lingus’s strategic intent to develop Dublin Airport as a hub between Europe and the US, to deliver greater connectivity and aviation jobs, is significantly boosted by today’s announcement. We very much look forward to partnering with Emerald Airlines, and to growing and developing Aer Lingus Regional over the coming years.”
Conor McCarthy, Founder and Chief Executive of Emerald Airlines said
“The combined strengths of both airlines will allow us to offer optimised connectivity from popular cities and routes across Ireland, the UK and beyond. As we add additional aircraft to our fleet we will be recruiting 400+ new staff members which is a great boost for the industry which has been so badly impacted by the pandemic.”
Following the unexpected closure of Stobart Air in June, Aer Lingus worked quickly to plan a replacement schedule for Aer Lingus Regional customers, operating six routes until at least the end of March 2022. BA CityFlyer is also operating four additional routes for the rest of Summer 2021 period.