Stobart Air folds

By | Category: Travel news

Another collapse, which must be in part due to the pandemic, that of Stobart Air, was announced on Saturday morning.

Aer Lingus will service some routes itself in the short term

As such it has a big significance on passengers getting from and to Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The airline that probably few have heard of is the airline that flies regional flights on contract to Aer Lingus.

Flights to and from George Best Belfast City Airport to Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds Bradford and Manchester have been suspended immediately although the Aer Lingus flights to Heathrow continue. Announced routes from Belfast to Cardiff, Glasgow and Newquay will not start.

From Dublin, flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newquay are cancelled.

It also operates from and to Cork,.

Two of the other routes operated by the airline; Kerry-Dublin and Donegal-Dublin are government-funded public service obligation routes and thus the Irish government will have to appoint a new provider.

In all, the airline operated over 200 flights weekly to and from Belfast.

Altogether, Stobart Air flew 30 Aer Lingus Regional routes from bases in Dublin, Cork and Belfast.

However Aer Lingus says that all affected passengers will be or have been contacted. In the short term, Aer Lingus will operate five routes and for at least the next week BA City Flyer will operate two.

Aer Lingus had signed a contract with Emerald Airlines to take over many of the routes as from January 2023 which is when the Stobart Air contract expired.

The question passengers will be asking is whether Emerald Airlines can take over sooner.

It is a new airline, set up only last year to deliberately bid for the contract with Aer Lingus that it then won. As far as I am aware, it has no other routes up and running. But, in the liquidation of Stobart Air, Emerald might bid for the plane leases. It is unlikely though that it could operate all of the thirty routes from day one so the supposition must be that it will pick the most profitable routes and add others at a convenient time

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