Aer Lingus Regional Accelerates Launch Plans

Emerald Airlines will commence regional flights between the UK and Ireland in March 2022 under a franchise agreement with Aer Lingus—about 10 months ahead of schedule.

The Irish airline will operate services as Aer Lingus Regional from March 17 using leased ATR 72-600 aircraft, taking over many of the routes previously served by Stobart Air before its demise.

About 340 flights per week will be on offer across 11 routes, including providing up to four daily connections from Dublin (DUB) to both Glasgow (GLA) and Edinburgh (EDI). Emerald said further route announcements to be made in the coming weeks.

The startup has already established a company in Northern Ireland, known as Emerald Airlines UK, and applied to the UK CAA to obtain its air operator’s certificate. Once this is in place, the carrier expects to begin routes from George Best Belfast City (BHD) “as soon as possible in 2022.”

Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton (pictured alongside Emerald CEO Conor McCarthy) said the resumption of Aer Lingus Regional flights would provide feed for its transatlantic services from Dublin.

“Today is about opportunities,” she said. “Opportunities for our UK customers to connect with ease to Aer Lingus flights to North America and to take advantage of the US preclearance facility.

“Opportunities for customers across UK and Ireland as we develop the Aer Lingus regional network. And opportunities for the Irish economy and Irish aviation as we expand our hub at Dublin”…

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