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Conor McCarthy, Founder and Chief Executive, Emerald Airlines and Reid Moody, Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, Aer Lingus Eoin McGirl/AerLingus
franchise agreement

Aer Lingus signs 10 year agreement with Emerald Airlines to operate regional flights

Emerald Airlines plans to hire over 400 new staff members as it adds additional aircraft to its fleet.

AER LINGUS HAS announced a ten-year franchise agreement with Emerald Airlines to operate its regional flights from January 2023. 

The agreement will see Emerald Airlines operating Aer Lingus regional flights between the island of Ireland and regional airports in the UK, Isle of Man and Jersey. 

Aer Lingus said it is working with Emerald Airlines to bring forward the contract start date in light of Stobart Air recently ceasing operations.

All Aer Lingus regional flights operated by Stobart Air were cancelled unexpectedly in June after the latter terminated its franchise agreement and ceased trading. In the interim, Aer Lingus has been operating six of the 12 routes using its mainline.

BA CityFlyer is also operating four additional routes for the rest of the summer period.

Aer Lingus chief executive Lynne Embleton the franchise agreement marks a “new chapter” in the airline’s regional services.

Embleton said the deal will also support the airline’s Dublin Hub strategy by providing connectivity of UK provincial airports to North America via Dublin.

“Aer Lingus’s strategic intent to develop Dublin Airport as a hub between Europe and the US, to deliver greater connectivity and aviation jobs, is significantly boosted by today’s announcement,” said Embelton. 

Describing the deal as a major development for Irish aviation, Emerald Airlines chief executive Conor McCarthy said:

“The combined strengths of both airlines will allow us to offer optimised connectivity from popular cities and routes across Ireland, the UK and beyond.

“As we add additional aircraft to our fleet we will be recruiting 400+ new staff members which is a great boost for the industry which has been so badly impacted by the pandemic.”

Under the agreement, Emerald Airlines will operate ATR turboprop aircraft on the regional routes with associated Aer Lingus branding and livery. McCarthy said ATR aircraft would be added to the fleet shortly. 


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