Aer Arann has announced it is to operate flights on behalf of fellow Irish carrier Aer Lingus from Dublin and Cork to 12 destinations. The franchise services will be branded as Aer Lingus Regional.
The agreement will increase Aer Lingus’ presence in the UK market, as Aer Arann will operate several of its routes from Dublin and Cork under the new Aer Lingus Regional brand, to cities including Bristol, Cardiff, Blackpool, Doncaster/Sheffield and Durham.
It will also result in an increase in Aer Lingus’ capacity on routes from Dublin to Glasgow and Edinburgh, as its own existing routes between the cities will be added to Aer Arann’s offering under the new regional agreement.
Finally several new routes from Cork will be added under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, to Glasgow, Jersey and La Rochelle.
The services will be operated using Aer Arann crew and the carrier’s ATR 72-500 aircraft, with Aer Lingus receiving a franchise fee “in recognition for providing its brand and product suite to Aer Arann”.
Aer Arann will continue to offer its own services on other routes within Ireland and to UK and French destinations, as well as flights between the Isle of Man and London/Paris.
Commenting on the new agreement Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said:
“This franchise agreement is good news for all stakeholders in Aer Lingus as it will allow us to serve key regional destinations, linking them with our Dublin transatlantic network as well as offering our business and leisure customers improved schedule and frequency options.”
The agreement follows Aer Lingus’s recent decision to cut services from Gatwick (see online news January 8).
Report by Mark Caswell
The following routes and frequencies will be covered by this franchise agreement:
- The Dublin-Glasgow route will increase to up to four roundtrips per day
- The Dublin-Edinburgh route will see an Aer Lingus daily service supplemented by two Aer Arann round-trip services, one in the morning and one in the evening
- Dublin to Cardiff – 3 Daily roundtrips
- Dublin to Blackpool – Daily service
- Dublin to Doncaster/Sheffield – Daily service
- Dublin to Durham Tees Valley – 6 roundtrips per week
- A new service will be launched from Cork to Glasgow with six roundtrip services per week (excluding Tuesdays)
- Cork to Bristol – 6 roundtrips per week
- Cork to Edinburgh – 11 roundtrips per week
- Cork to Cardiff – Daily service
- Cork to La Rochelle – 2 weekly
- Cork Jersey – 2 weekly