Dublin headquartered Emerald Airlines (EA/EAI) is set to commence services for Aer Lingus Regional 10 months ahead of schedule.
The newest Irish airline will operate routes under a franchise agreement using leased ATR72-600 aircraft and takes over many of the routes left unserved when Stobart Air shutdown.
Emerald says it plans to operate 340 flights per week from 17th March across 11 routes including key UK cities such as Edinburgh & Glasgow served up to four times per day from Dublin.
It will also be serving routes to Newquay, Isle of Man and Exeter.
Emerald plans to operate from Irelands key airports including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast in Northern Ireland.
It has already taken delivery of two ATR72-600s from Chorus Aviation with four more to arrive. Emerald also has an agreement to lease four more ATRs from Nordic Aviation Capital.
Conor McCarthy, CEO of Emerald Airlines said: “We’re delighted to be able to commence operations under our franchise agreement with Aer Lingus well ahead of plan in line with the recovering customer demand. The time is right for Emerald Airlines to begin operations under the Aer Lingus Regional brand and we truly look forward to welcoming our customers onboard our flights as soon as February next.
“Our customer-focused schedules will offer choice, convenience and great value for both regional and transatlantic air travel. This announcement is a great boost for connectivity from Ireland to the U.K, including cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Newcastle, Bristol, and Leeds. Emerald Airlines will be offering a high-frequency schedule with convenient flight timings to facilitate both business and leisure passengers.
“Emerald has also established an airline company in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and has applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and Operating Licence. We are very confident that this will result in long-term connectivity being maintained across the Irish Sea and will boost business and leisure travel between Northern Ireland and Britain. We have already reached a long-term commercial agreement with George Best Belfast City Airport and look forward to connecting Belfast to many cities in the UK as soon as possible in 2022. Further details, routes and launch dates in relation to the Belfast operation will be announced in the New Year.”
In addition to the Dublin based airline, Emerald has also set up a Belfast base airline Emerald Airlines UK Ltd which is in the process of obtaining an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) which will allow flights to operate from Belfast as a UK airline and potentially other UK airports.
Passengers using Emerald’s Aer Lingus franchise flights will be able to seamlessly connect to destinations in places like North America with Aer Lingus via Dublin.