Aer Lingus Regional
|Founded||26 January 2010|
|Commenced operations||28 March 2010|
|Parent company||Aer Lingus|
|Headquarters||Dublin Airport, Ireland|
Aer Lingus Regional is an Aer Lingus brand used for commuter and regional flights operated by Irish airline Stobart Air on behalf of Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus Regional operates scheduled passenger services primarily from Ireland to the United Kingdom, France, and the Channel Islands. Its bases are located at Cork and Dublin airports.
The possibility of such a partnership was first announced on 6 January 2010, when Aer Lingus hinted to the media that it was interested in expanding its UK services with the help of the then Aer Arann. It was also marked as solely a Cork expansion with no mention of Dublin, with Aer Lingus saying bulk seats would be bought on Aer Arann planes without an actual financial take-over.
On 26 January 2010, it was confirmed that both Aer Lingus and Aer Arann would launch a new franchise agreement. On that same date, new routes from Dublin to Doncaster-Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley were announced by Aer Lingus Regional, in addition to a new route from Cork to Glasgow. It was also decided that previous Aer Arann routes to Cork would all be transferred to Aer Lingus Regional. Aer Arann services to Blackpool and Cardiff from Dublin would be transferred to Aer Lingus Regional also.
Though Aer Arann and Aer Lingus co-founded Aer Lingus Regional, Aer Arann operate all flights and will manage those flights with Aer Arann flight crew on board. All aircraft are painted in Aer Lingus Regional livery, and both airlines anticipate new routes being announced as the new subsidiary between the two airlines grows.
On 14 March 2012, Aer Arann confirmed it would streamline all of its own branded services into Aer Lingus Regional from 25 March 2012. Routes that transferred to Aer Lingus Regional included, Dublin to the Isle of Man and Kerry, Waterford to London-Luton, London-Southend and Manchester. The airline has since suspended all services from Waterford. On 11 July 2012, Aer Arann announced that it intended to purchase 8 ATR 72-600 aircraft to help replace and expand its operations. The first of these aircraft were delivered in late April 2013.
On 20 March 2014, Aer Arann announced its intention to re-brand and form Stobart Air to allow the company to seek further franchise agreements. There was no change to the operation of Aer Lingus Regional services. On 27 November 2014, Stobart Air was awarded PSO contracts between Dublin-Donegal from 1 February 2015. The existing Dublin-Kerry route was also extended to 2017. On the same date, all services to/from Shannon were confirmed to be axed from 5 January 2015, the base closed on the same date. The airline has since resumed services to/from Shannon.
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Media related to Aer Lingus Regional at Wikimedia Commons