Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann) (Dublin) has agreed a partnership with Flybe which will see Stobart Air operate services to mainland Europe. As part of a five-year deal, Stobart Air will operate Flybe-branded aircraft on six new European routes from London Southend Airport. All routes will fly from London Southend Airport to Antwerp, Rennes, Caen Normandy, Münster Osnabrück, Cologne Bonn and Groningen.
With the addition of the franchise agreement with Flybe, Stobart Air operates 764 flights per week across 33 routes from 22 departure points throughout the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Ireland.
Stobart Air is owned by the Stobart Group along with other investors. Stobart Group’s aviation assets comprise London Southend Airport; Carlisle Lake District Airport; Stobart Air; plus air freight, maintenance and airport services.
Aer Arann (Dublin) on March 19, 2014 announced it would be changing its name to Stobart Air by the end of this year to better reflect its new ownership.
According to Stobbart Group, “Stobart Air is operator of two complementary airport facilities, London Southend Airport and Carlisle Lake District Airport. The Group intends to grow Stobart Air significantly following the completion of London Southend Airport. London Southend Airport has developed new routes with major operators including Aer Lingus Regional, easyJet, Thomson Airways and First Choice with the ultimate aim of servicing up to two million passengers annually by 2020.
The Group is also pursuing air freight, maintenance and airport service opportunities at London Southend Airport, including airport retail, private facilities, lounges and fees generated from the rail terminal, which provides up to eight services an hour direct to London’s Liverpool Street Station.”
According to Wikipedia, “Aer Arann is owned by Everdeal Holdings Limited, which is 45% owned by the Stobart Group; 42% owned by Invesco; 8% owned by Cenkos Securities; and 5% owned by Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann’s former Chairman. Stobart Group has an option to acquire complete control of the airline, by increasing its shareholding by a further 55% to 100%.”
Aer Arann was established in 1970 by James Coen and Ralph Langan to operate regular flights between Galway and the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. Operations began in August 1970 with a single Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander.
Besides operating for others as Stobart Air, the company will also continue to operate under the Aer Lingus Regional name as part of the franchise agreement with Aer Lingus.
Top Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212 EI-SLN (msn 405) in Aer Arann livery departs from Southend Airport (near London). Both entities are controlled by the Stobart Group.
Aer Lingus Regional:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212 EI-SLM (msn 413) in Aer Lingus Regional franchise colors arrives at Southend.
Aer Arann‘s (Aer Lingus Regional) (Dublin) pilots are threatening to strike four days next week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday) over a disagreement concerning pay issues.
Read the full story from The Irish Times: CLICK HERE
The strike is disrupting the plans of the company for a “new beginning”.
Earlier this year the company announced a “new beginning”:
Aer Arann plans to join Europe’s top tier of regional airlines by 2015 and to double its passenger numbers to over two million in five years, the company said today.
The airline also confirmed a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in 2012, with total passenger growth of 16% in the past two years.
Announcing a “new beginning” at the airline, Sean Brogan, Interim Chief Executive, Aer Arann outlined a package of measures to grow its customer base and route network, including:
Successful restructuring: a successful restructuring of the company has been completed, putting the airline on a strong financial footing;
Fleet renewal program: the airline will be taking delivery of eight new aircraft. The new aircraft, ATR 72-600s, will replace the older existing fleet of ATR 72-200s and ATR 42s. The first new plane will commence service this May, with the remaining aircraft expected for delivery over the next 11 months. The new fleet will be fully operational in time for the Summer 2014 program;
Extension of Aer Lingus agreement: the airline has extended its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus, which will see Aer Arann operate under the Aer Lingus Regional brand until the end of 2022;
Addition of two new routes: commencing this Summer, Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann will add two new routes to its network, Dublin-Birmingham and Dublin-Manchester. The addition of these routes, two of the busiest on the Ireland to UK network, will increase passenger numbers by 300,000 and bring the airline’s route network to 24.
Combined with existing Aer Lingus mainline services to Manchester and Birmingham, these new services will result in a significant ramping up of frequencies to two of the busiest routes on the Ireland to UK network. Specifically, services on the Dublin Birmingham route will go from three to six services per day while services on the Dublin Manchester routes will go from three to five per day.
It also means that the airline will be operating routes to the main UK cities. The Stobart Group is also advancing plans to add routes at London Southend airport.
Expansion of services: the airline is to increase frequencies on its Dublin Edinburgh and Dublin Glasgow routes.Specifically, services on the Dublin Edinburgh route will go from four up to six services per day while services on the Dublin Glasgow route will go from four up to six per day.
Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis/AirlinersGallery.com. ATR 72-212A (ATR 72-500) EI-REL (msn 748) departs from Manchester in the Aer Lingus Regional brand.
Aer Arann (Dublin) has painted its first ATR 42 in the colors of Aer Lingus Regional. On January 18, 2012 this Aer Arann (Dublin) ATR 42-300 registered as EI-CBK (msn 199) was rolled out at Shannon in full Aer Lingus Regional colors after repainting by Eirtech Aviation. Named “St. Fintain”, EI-CBK is the first Aer Arann ATR 42 to be painted in Aer Lingus Regional colors.
In February 2010 Aer Lingus announced it was entering into a joint venture with Aer Arann to establish Aer Lingus Regional, which would be operated by Aer Arann with a portion of the profits going to Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus took no equity stake in Aer Arann but the deal involved Aer Lingus bulk-buying seats on Aer Arann services. The move allowed Aer Lingus to expand its operations without the need for additional aircraft plus serve airports that cannot handle the Aer Lingus fleet. The agreement covers all former Aer Arann flights from Cork as well as new and existing Aer Lingus flights from Dublin including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Doncaster.
Aer Lingus Regional commenced scheduled operations on March 28, 2010.
Aer Arann Regional (Aer Lingus Regional) (Dublin) is suspending its services at Galway Airport in western Ireland for the winter season effective on October 31. The airline intends to operate a normal Galway schedule up to and including the Bank Holiday on Monday, October 31.
The suspended Galway routes will be the Aer Arann Regional flights between the airport and London Southend, London Luton, Manchester, Edinburgh and Waterford.
Aer Arann Dublin), Ireland’s regional airline, on January 31 announced new direct scheduled services between Waterford and Galway and Southend Airport near London, marking the opening of Aer Arann’s new gateway to central London and the English south east.
According to the airline:
“With its new direct rail link and speedy and frequent train services, London Southend Airport is Ireland’s new London gateway with a unique service offering that cannot be matched by major London airports.
10 Minutes From Plane to Train with Cabin Baggage
8 Trains Per Hour at Peak Times
50 Minutes to Central London”
Aer Arann inaugurated the new routes today (March 27). The first flight was from Waterford using ATR 42 EI-EHH, followed about 40 minutes later with ATR 72 EI-SLN from Galway.
Aer Arann will operate the flights twice daily, morning and evening, from both Galway and Waterford to Southend Airport offering the fastest and most direct access from the two cities to central London.
Direct flights will operate twice daily seven days per week from Waterford. Twice daily flights from Galway will operate direct four days per week and on three days a week will operate via Waterford.
Aer Arann will continue to fly four days a week direct from Waterford to London Luton and four days a week from Galway via Waterford to London Luton.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. ATR 72-212 EI-SLN (msn 404), leased from Air Contractors, was given the traditional water cannon salute at SEN prior to the inaugural flights.